FUTURE FISH: Draft Day Decisions Could Make A Difference

Larry Blustein
May 31, 2018 - 1:00 pm

Larry Blustein

• SECOND OF A TWO-PART SERIES

For all the trades that were made and all the prospects that were brought in, what happens next Monday and the days following, could indeed point the Miami Marlins in a positive direction.

When the new management took over, Hall of Famer Derek Jeter promised that this franchise would build from the minor leagues up – and with those words – fans everywhere, although reluctant – bought in.

Even if it took losing one of baseball’s most prolific modern day offensive outfields., it is all part of the plan, and now, we get to see what will happen, as the Marlins will select 13th in the first round.

While we gave you a few players last week that may be one of the first two picks, today we will concentrate more on the immediate needs of this organization with that first selection.

While Jared Kalenic (OF, 6-1, 195, Waukesha, Wisc.) and pitcher Kumar Rocker, (6-5, 250, North Oconee Bogart, Ga.) are still very much in play, today we take a look at some more prospects who fit what this organization is trying to accomplish.

It is a given that getting Auburn’s Casey Mize, catcher Joey Bart (Georgia Tech), Florida Gators’ Jonathan India or Brady Singer, will be impossible in the 13th position in the opening round, but there are others who can make an impact within two to three years – high school or college.

The prospects are showing more than ever before that they are never too far from the first, second or third round of the draft to a major league stadium

As pitching is always a need, and the Marlins have long used the first round to take a player who could be the future, arm injury or trades have always stood in the way.

Rocker, Ethan Hankins (Cumming High School ,Ga.), Florida Gator Jackson Kowar and Mississippi lefthander Ryan Rolison shuld be there are at 13.

If it’s outfielders that the Fish are looking at in the opening round, Travis Swaggerty (South Alabama), Jordyn Adams (Cary, N.C.), Jake McCarthy from Virginia and Oklahoma’s Steele Walker should all be there.

Shortstop is another position that taking a chance in the opening round comes with risks – as it does with other position, but range an arm strength do not always translate to the next level.

Corona High’s (Ca.) Brice Turang is perhaps the best of the prospects at a position that is not deep this year.More value with 2nd-5th round selections at the position.

First base is also not a position that is deep Triston Casas from Plantation American Heritage and Greyson Jenista from Wichita State are also prospects. Casas can also play third.

With the catching position solid throughout the organization, look for help in the second round, where there is more to choose from. But a position that is indeed a need throughout the organization is third base. Brian Anderson is a prospect, but his move to the outfield showed perhaps they are still searching.

Alec Bohm (Wichita State) and India will be long gone by No. 13, but there are two others to consider. One is a name that the Marlins know all too well. – in Noah Naylor, and the other is a solid offensive high school player in Nolan Gorman (Phoenix O’Connor High).

Naylor, a versatile prospect is the younger brother of Marlins 2015 No. 1 selection Josh Naylor, a first baseman who was traded to San Diego and is currently hitting .322 with 9 homers in Double A.

Gorman is one of those players that would make for an outstanding first round pick. While he still needs work on his defense, this is a solid baseball player who will do what it takes to succeed – even if that means a move later on to first base.

SECOND ROUND

Just like any draft that lets you stock your roster with many prospects, much of what you will need to keep your minor leagues competitive is what happens from Round 2 until the last name is read.

We are not expecting superstar players, but you never know who will be the next Mike Piazza – who came out of nowhere.

There are several options that could be available in the second round – starting with a player we mentioned last week in Duke’s Griffin Conine – son of Mr. Marlin, Jeff Conine.

Griffin broke school records as a power-hitting outfielder who needs some minor league seasoning and then you never know how far he can go. His dad was a standout at UCLA before being selected by the Royals.

If Miami is considering outfielders, high school standouts Parker Meadows (Grayson, Ga.), Joe Gray (Hattiesburg, Miss.), Mike Siani (Penn Charter, Pa.) and Alec Thomas (Mount Carmel, Ill.) are all solid and have more than passed the test.

Collegiately, besides Conine, Jameson Hannah (Dallas Baptist) and Triston Pompey (Kentucky) have graded out high at several pre-season events and throughout the season.

No matter who the Marlins come up with in this draft, you can guarantee that we will be here and will break them down for you.

NEXT WEEK: We will break down the first few picks of the 2018 MLB Draft.

CATCH THE FISH ALL SUMMER

Here is a look at the past blogs we have done - to showcase the Miami Marlins Minor League players:

FUTURE FISH: The Draft Will Start The Process Rolling. https://wqam.radio.com/articles/future-fish-draft-will-start-process-rol...

The ‘Hot Corner’ Still Needs Quality Prospects. https://wqam.radio.com/articles/future-fish-hot-corner-still-needs-quali...

Searching For Stability Up The Middle. https://wqam.radio.com/blogs/larry-blustein/future-fish-searching-stabil...

First Base Always Has Someone To Step In. https://wqam.radio.com/articles/future-fish-first-base-always-has-someon...

Revamping The Outfield Is A Must - Soon! https://wqam.radio.com/articles/future-fish-revamping-outfield-must-soon

Prospects Catching On Behind The Plate. https://wqam.radio.com/articles/feature-article/future-fish-prospects-ca...

Strong Pitching Will Be Essential. https://wqam.radio.com/articles/feature-article/future-fish-strong-pitch...

Can Trades Turn The Farm System Around? https://wqam.radio.com/blogs/larry-blustein/future-fish-can-trades-turn-...

Larry Blustein has followed, covered and worked in minor league baseball for over 50 years, tracing careers from the draft to major league rosters - and beyond. This look into the Marlins’ farm system will be a regular blog - throughout the summer. In addition, we will be breaking down the first June Free Agent for this new ownership.