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John Silviano’s fourth season in the Miami Marlins system was his last.
John Silviano is a 5’11”, 190 lb. power hitting first baseman from Hypoluxo, Florida. Born on July 11th, 1994, he was chosen in the 13th round of the 2012 MLB Amateur Entry Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays.

Eight players taken with the 415th overall choice have eventually graduated to the major leagues. Chief amongst them are Frank Viola (1978, Kansas City Royals, 46.9 career WAR) and Darren Holmes (1984, Los Angeles Dodgers, 7.3 WAR).

Initially selected as a catcher out of Summit Christian High School in Fort Myers, FL, Silviano hit just .164 with the GCL Blue Jays in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League after his selection, although he did collect 17 RBI in 39 games and draw 22 walks to 21 strikeouts. He was also guilty of six passed balls. He did not appear behind the plate through the rest of his playing career to date.

Silviano spent the next two seasons at the rookie level with the Blue Jays, but never approached the Mendoza line, and was released in July 2014. Two years later, the Miami Marlins signed him to a minor league contract and sent him to the Single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers, in the South Atlantic League. In 44 games there, he improved his hitting to a tune of .212/.281/.449, with eight round-trippers and 19 RBI.

The improvement begged a further look from the Marlins organization, and they graduated Silviano to the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League in 2017. Another jump in his simple hitting metrics, to .245/.311/.417 along with 13 homers and 55 RBI in 103 games seemed to reward the front office’s faith.

In a second season with the Hammerheads in 2018, Silviano hit .281/.363/.491 in 65 games, with a dozen home runs and 49 RBI. One step up, with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in the Double-A Southern League, he wasn’t as lucky. Just nine-for-54 in a 20 game look.

The Miami Marlins must take 57 wins and lots of promise, and build for the 2020 season. Can this team inch towards a winning record?
For Marlins fans, the postseason can be tough to watch.

While it seems everyone else has enjoyed success beyond the regular season, here are the Marlins once again sitting at home while Miami is left wondering when it will make it back to the playoffs, which was back in 2003.

My son was four years old at the time. Now, he’s in college learning about the world.

You cannot put a timetable on just when that will happen, but you can continue to ask Derek Jeter, Michael Hill and the baseball gods who are basking in the warmth of South Florida when it might happen. The Marlins fan base is a small sample of MLB’s landscape, but they are just as disappointed as any other when it comes to sitting at home as the holidays are creeping into the minds of children and families.

It seems like forever and forever is a mighty long time.

The Marlins have plenty of work to do this offseason, looking to become small buyers in free agency while unpacking their roster once again to lower the payroll for yet another season. If the stars align and the team can approach 70-75 wins in 2020, then we might see Jeter and Hill open the checkbook and add some zeros to big contracts to entice top-level stars to make Miami their home.

Trust in the process. I know it’s a trying topic to discuss.

“Following a 57-105 record in the second year of the team’s rebuild, expectations will begin to rise beginning next season. Manager Don Mattingly didn’t shy away from it during the Marlins’ final series in Philadelphia, saying the team needs to start turning the corner,” writes Wells Dusenbury of sun-sentinel.com.

There is a ray of hope even with fewer wins and more frustration this season.

That’s a wrap — #Marlins beat the Phillies 4-3 on the final day of the season.

Miami hands the Phillies their 11,000th loss in franchise history.

Marlins win the season series w/Philly 10-9, finishing the year 57-105.

— Wells Dusenbury (@DuseReport) September 29, 2019

“Despite suffering the second-most losses in franchise history, Miami has rapidly improved its farm system and has a number of highly touted prospects close to reaching the majors,” Dusenbury adds. “While the likely target date for contention still isn’t until 2021 or 2022, the Marlins need to show incremental improvement next season to set up for a potential push.”

I saw some of that push this season here in Jacksonville where the Jumbo Shrimp touted Jordan Yamamoto and Robert Dugger, who finished the season in Miami. Sixto Sanchez, Edward Cabrera, and Jorge Guzman were solid and could be in the rotation in the next 18 months. Timing is everything with young, strong pitching.

How the Marlins approach free agency will give us all a glimpse of how the front office will approach next season. If they look for mid-level starting pitching with Jake Odorizzi and Gio Gonzalez available or bringing back Sergio Romo to help the bullpen, then we might see some of these top pitching prospects as trade chips to acquire a big bat in the middle of the lineup.

It’s a cat and mouse game for the Marlins. Knowing when to make their first move is half the battle. Personally, I think it’s time. But money is still an issue.

“Miami has roughly $35 million coming off the books from its $75 million payroll — fourth-lowest in MLB, per Spotrac,” Dusenbury explained. “The Marlins also clear another $22 million next offseason when Wei-Yin Chen’s contract expires. Making a financial commitment would go a long way in helping the franchise build back trust in South Florida.”

Marlins have parted ways with Jupiter Hammerheads Manager Todd Pratt. Pratt spent 3 years in the Marlins Organization. 2019 with Jupiter, 2017-18 with Greensboro. Hammerheads hitting coach Kevin Witt was also informed his contract would not be renewed.

— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) October 2, 2019

We are counting down the day for Chen’s departure like it’s the final push toward Christmas Eve. We shall also see if those numbers change and Starlin Castro and his $16 million for 2020 remain on the books.

I think the Marlins do take a few swings at hitters and hope for a home run. Jose Abreu makes sense. So does Nicholas Castellanos. Justin Smoak could also be a name that is mentioned. The front office did well to find low-cost free agents last season right before the start of Spring Training.

They can afford to spend a little more this winter. And they should – if they are truly committed to moving forward and making significant progress over the next 12 months. Progress is something Marlins fans need to get excited about. Not wondering when the playoff push will begin. That is something that is still a few years away.

2019 was make-it-or-break-it time for Silviano, who started the campaign with Jacksonville. After 65 games, he was hitting just .151/.229./254 with four homers and 14 RBI. He also struck out 81 times in 230 plate appearances. The Miami Marlins organization parted ways with him on June 25th, granting his outright release.

Later, Silviano signed on with the St. Paul Saints, in the independent American Association. The move agreed with him, and saw him post a .241/.333/.468 slash line in 57 games, with 13 homers and 38 RBI.

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