Fast rising Marlins prospect Jose Salas hopes to take advantage of time at Arizona Fall League

Joseph Guzy/Miami Marlins

It didn’t take long for infielder Jose Salas to find himself among the Miami Marlins’ top prospects.

Just three years after signing for $2.8 million as the Marlins’ primary target in the 2019 international free agent class and and two years after making his pro ball debut, Salas is now the fifth-ranked prospect in the organization according to MLB Pipeline and the No. 2 position player behind only 2022 first-round pick Jacob Berry. He was promoted to High A Beloit midway through the 2022 season.

And the 19-year-old’s season isn’t done yet.

Salas is the headliner among eight Marlins prospects taking part in the Arizona Fall League, which starts Monday and runs through Nov. 12. Marlins prospects will play for the Mesa Solar Sox, a team consisting of prospects from the Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees.

“I’m always excited to go play baseball,” Salas, who will be the second-youngest player in the Arizona Fall League, said recently. “Whenever I can go somewhere and play, I love it. Just truly blessed to get this opportunity to be here and getting invited to the Fall League. I’ve always watched the Fall League since I was a little kid, seeing all these stars going to the Fall League and then ending up in the big leagues.”

Salas, despite his age, has been one of the Marlins’ more consistent position player prospects the past couple years. A switch hitter who has played both shortstop and third base, Salas has a career .268 average with a .747 on-base-plus-slugging mark, 11 home runs, 34 doubles, four triples, 60 RBI, 95 runs scored and 47 stolen bases in 164 games since making his debut in 2021.

Here are the other Marlins prospects spending the month in Arizona:

Catcher Joe Mack: The No. 9 overall prospect in the Marlins’ system, Mack played in just 44 games during his first season of pro ball after missing significant time due to a strained hamstring. He hit .243 with a .768 on-base-plus-slugging mark, 10 extra-base hits (four doubles, one triple, five home runs), 15 RBI and 20 runs scored in his limited playing time.

Outfielder Victor Mesa Jr.: The No. 14 overall prospect in Miami’s system, Mesa Jr. spent the entire season at High A Beloit. In 121 games, he hit .243 with a .669 on-base-plus-slugging mark, 34 extra-base hits (26 doubles, three triples, five home runs), 50 RBI and 53 runs scored over 525 plate appearances.

Catcher Cameron Barstad: Miami’s sixth-round pick in 2018, Barstad played 55 games for Class A Jupiter this season and put up career-best numbers across the board (.233 average, .335 on-base percentage, .370 slugging), 17 doubles, 22 RBI, 21 runs scored over 221 plate appearances)

Left-handed pitcher Chandler Jozwiak: Miami’s 13th-round pick in the 2021 draft, Jozwiak posted a 2.35 ERA with 67 strikeouts against 20 walks and a .179 batting average against over 57 1/3 innings across 40 relief appearances and three minor-league levels (10 with Class A Jupiter, 23 with High A Beloit and seven with Double A Pensacola).

Right-handed pitcher Holt Jones Jr.: Miami’s 14th-round pick in the 2021 draft, Jones made 10 appearances (eight starts) this season — two with the rookie-level Florida Complex League and eight with Class A Jupiter. He finished the season with a 4.72 ERA and 39 strikeouts against 25 walks and a .275 batting average against.

Right-handed pitcher Jorge Mercedes: Despite being a member of the Marlins’ 2018 international signing class, Mercedes didn’t make his organizational debut until this season. He spent the bulk of his time at the Florida Complex League but finished the season with Double A Pensacola. In 21 appearances (five starts), Mercedes posted a 2.61 ERA with 55 strikeouts and 22 walks over 31 innings while holding opponents to a .130 batting average. He allowed just one home run.

Left-handed pitcher Justin Fall: The Marlins’ 17th-round pick in the 2021 draft, Fall posted a 3.87 ERA over 90 2/3 innings in 19 appearances (15 starts). He struck out 82, walked 21 and had a .256 batting average against while allowing just one home run over the course of facing 385 batters.