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Prospects make mark in brief period

Prospects make mark in brief period

JUPITER, Fla. -- Four more Marlins pitching prospects were sent to the Minor Leagues on Wednesday, but not before they each made an encouraging impression with the organization.

Left-handers Aaron Thompson, Ryan Tucker and Brett Sinkbeil were reassigned to Minor League camp. Daniel Barone was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.

All four of them have a chance to be brought up sometime during the season.

Thompson and Tucker, who is among the hardest throwers in Florida's system, were first-round Draft picks in 2005. Sinkbeil was a first-round Draft choice in 2006.

Barone, versatile to either start or relieve, has a chance to join the Albuquerque rotation. A year ago, the 24-year-old appeared in 16 games with the Marlins, and he was 1-3 with a 5.71 ERA in 16 games, including six starts.

Thompson, Tucker and Sinkbeil project to open the season at Double-A Carolina.

The club is being especially careful in the development of its young pitchers. Thompson, 21, had a stretch when he was throwing as well as anybody in camp. But since he hasn't pitched anywhere higher than at Class A Jupiter, he will have more time to develop in the Minor Leagues.

Next year, Thompson will be more closely looked at for a rotation spot.

Tucker, 21, is in a similar situation to Thompson. While Tucker is being looked upon as a starter at Double-A, his role at the big league level may ultimately be as a reliever, and perhaps even as a closer, since he throws 97 mph.

Sinkbeil can either start or relieve. A year ago, he made 14 starts for Jupiter, and he appears destined for Carolina.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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