Florida Marlins

Players signed indicated in Bold

Round Overall Player Position School State Bonus
1 14 Jose Fernandez RHP Alonso HS, Tampa Fla. $2,000,000
Even in a strong year in Florida last year, Fernandez stood out, and opposing hitters were measured by how they fared against him. He almost didn't get to pitch this season, as he was temporarily suspended pending an investigation into how much high school baseball he played in Cuba. It took two attempts for Fernandez, his mother and his sister to escape the island nation, and he's motivated on and off the field. One scout termed his demeanor as "high-level confidence." Fernandez has those who doubt his age, and he'll be 19 before the mid-August signing date. He throws three swing-and-miss pitches: a fastball that sits 90-95 mph with heavy sink at times and a pair of breaking balls. Scouts aren't sure if Fernandez means to throw both a slider and a curve, but his slider can be sharp and his curve at times has 12-to-6 break. He's shown flashes of a changeup as well and could wind up as a four-pitch workhorse. Sturdy at 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, Fernandez has a mature body and will have to work to maintain his conditioning.
2 72 Adam Conley LHP Washington State Wash. $625,000
Conley moved from Washington State's closer role last year to the Friday night starter this year. He has an aggressive, almost Dontrelle Willis-like delivery. His fastball typically sits in the 88-93 mph range, but he can touch 95 and has been as high as 97 when he was used in relief as a sophomore. His two-seam fastball has heavy sink and his changeup has good fade. He throws a slider, but it has a long way to go. It has rolling action instead of sharp snap and he mostly relies on locating his fastball, changing speeds and inducing weak contact. With his peerless work ethic and outstanding makeup, Conley has embraced a leadership role this year. Still, evaluators are split on his future role. Some believe his lack of a breaking ball will limit him to a bullpen role. Supporters say the sink on his fastball, the confidence in his changeup and his strong work ethic will allow him to remain as a starter as his breaking ball develops.
3 102 Connor Barron SS Sumrall (Miss.) HS Miss.
Barron helped lead Sumrall to a 67-game winning streak that ended last year and moved from third base to shortstop this spring. He helped the team to its fourth straight state 3A title and batted .490 with eight home runs He has matured physically as a senior, going from 6 feet, 170 pounds to 6-foot-3, 195 pounds now. He has remained an above-average runner, and he has the arm strength for shortstop. Throw in his fluid lefthanded swing, and Barron has gone from a solid local follow to a genuine pop-up guy who is making Southern Mississippi sweat. He would replace B.A. Vollmuth as the Golden Eagles' shortstop next season, if he makes it to school. Evaluators compare him to Rays big leaguer Reid Brignac, who was a second-round pick in 2004, and Barron now could go close to that range. He has shown surprising raw power, and scouts believe in his knack for hitting as well as above-average athleticism.
4 133 Tyler Palmer 2B Wayne County HS, Jesup, Ga. Ga.
Palmer is a savvy infielder who played shortstop in high school and could play shortstop if he makes it to Georgia, where he's committed. He's an average runner with strong instincts, and those instincts show up in the field and may allow him to stay in the middle of the diamond long-term defensively. His arm strength is plenty sufficient for the left side of the infield, but his bat is light for third base, as he lacks profile power. His bat fits better if he can stay in the middle infield.
5 163 Mason Hope RHP Broken Arrow (Okla.) HS Okla. $250,000
Most of the time, a guy who can reach 94 mph with his fastball and back it up with a sharp breaking ball would be the top high school pitching prospect in his state and certainly on his team. That's not the case with Hope, the No. 2 starter on Broken Arrow's Oklahoma 6-A state championship team behind Archie Bradley, and the fourth-best arm in a loaded Sooner State prep class after Dylan Bundy, Bradley and Michael Fulmer. Athletic and projectable at 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds, Hope usually pitches at 90-92 mph and could add velocity in the future. His curveball is a wipeout pitch at times. He lands hard on a stiff front leg in his delivery, which causes him to pitch up in the zone more than he should. Though his father Pat was a star pitcher at Oklahoma State in the mid-1980s, Hope has committed to archrival Oklahoma.
6 193 Charlie Lowell LHP Wichita State Kan. $200,000
In Lowell and Brian Flynn, Wichita State has two big-bodied lefthanders who will get selected in the early rounds of the 2011 draft. The Missouri Valley Conference pitcher of the year, Lowell is the better prospect because he's more polished and has had more consistent success. He set a Missouri state record by finishing his high school career with 57 straight scoreless innings in 2008, and has experienced few speed bumps with the Shockers. He missed six weeks with a strained forearm a year ago, but returned before the end of the season and ranked as the top prospect in the Jayhawk League during the summer. Six-foot-4 and 245 pounds, Lowell delivers 90-95 mph fastballs on a tough angle to the plate. His hard slider is a solid second pitch, and he also uses a serviceable changeup. He generally repeats his delivery well and throws strikes, though his command is no better than average.
7 223 Ryan Rieger 1B JC of the Sequoias (Calif.) Calif. $200,000
First baseman Ryan Rieger transferred to College of the Sequoias after spending a season at Santa Clara and shows a good feel for hitting with some power with wood. If he doesn't sign, he'll be back in Division I next year at Long Beach State.
8 253 Dejai Oliver RHP Seminole State (Fla.) JC Fla. $200,000
Dejai Oliver is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound righthander and the son of ex-big league catcher Joe Oliver, and he has flashed a tight slider and feel for pitching while scraping the low 90s.
9 283 Austin Barnes C Arizona State Ariz. $95,000
Austin Barnes is a natural middle infielder who converted to catching two years ago and shows good athleticism behind the plate. He's undersized at 5-foot-9 and 174 pounds, and scouts have doubts about his bat. His uncle is Mike Gallego, who played in the big leagues for 13 years and is now the third-base coach for Oakland.
10 313 Scott Lyman RHP UC Davis Calif. $85,000
Scott Lyman has been difficult for scouts to evaluate this year. He's a two-way player for UC Davis, usually playing the outfield on Fridays and Saturdays and taking the mound on Sundays. Pro scouts are interested in him only as a righthander, and they felt he was sometimes worn out when he pitched. At 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, Lyman shows good arm strength, touching 96 mph with his fastball, but it's in short bursts. He has below-average mechanics, dragging his arm through the zone, so it's likely his future is in the bullpen. Lyman, whose brother Jeff pitches in the Braves organization, shows flashes of an above-average curveball and changeup, but the pitches lack consistency.
11 343 Jacob Esch RHP Georgia Tech Ga. $200,000
More attractive for most scouts than Kevin Jacob is raw arm Jacob Esch, who is the Yellow Jackets' starting shortstop. One of the club's few lineup veterans, Esch opened the season as the starting second baseman, then flipped spots with freshman Mott Hyde and sparked the Jackets' season by providing solid defense and gap power. He has pitched sparingly this season, with just six appearances spanning five innings after being used for 19 innings in 2009. Esch, who went to Joe Mauer's alma mater, Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul, Minn., has a pitcher's body at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, and his fastball hit 95 mph in fall practice. He sat in the 89-91 range this season and has piqued scouts' interest more than any Yellow Jackets player save Jed Bradley.
12 373 Ryan McIntyre OF Cal State Bakersfield Nev.
13 403 Josh Adams SS Florida Fla.
Senior second baseman Josh Adams hit just .224 last season, then responded with a .340 year this season. He shifted to a contact approach this season and should be a solid organizational infielder.
14 433 Nick Grim RHP Monterey Peninsula (Calif.) JC Calif.
Grim, who is committed to Cal Poly, is 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds and has a live arm, capable of touching 94 mph with a good curveball.
15 463 Jhiomar Veras OF Western Oklahoma State JC Okla.
Oklahoma always has a few small-college players who put up huge numbers, and this year is no exception. Western Oklahoma State outfielder Jhiomar Veras led all NJCAA Division II players in hitting (.503) and homers (23) entering the D-II Juco World Series. He also tied for the D-II home run crown last year with 20. A former switch-hitter, he struggled from the left side and has became exclusively a righthanded hitter. A 6-foot-1, 190-pounder, he has some athleticism and speed to go with his power.
16 493 Adrian Sampson RHP Bellevue (Wash.) CC Wash.
17 523 Derek Varnadore RHP Auburn Ala.
Auburn's other unusual draft prospect, righthander Derek Varnadore, has a deceptive arm action that scouts don't love, but he throws strikes with it. At 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, he has a pro body and a pro approach, pitching off an 89-90 mph fastball and using his deception well. His slider and changeup are fringy, and his signability was tough to gauge. He was not picked last year out of Chattahoochee Valley CC.
18 553 Greg Nappo LHP Connecticut Conn.
Gregg Nappo is a fifth-year senior whom teams talked to about drafting in the 10-15 round range last year, but he wanted to return to Storrs. At 6 feet and 195 pounds, he doesn't offer much projection, but he has been one of the Big East's best performers, going 9-2, 2.97 through 13 starts. He works at 86-90 mph with his fastball, cutting it and adding two-seam run at times. Nappo doesn't overpower hitters, but he gets outs by working both sides of the plate and sequencing pitches well. He has an average slurvy breaking ball and a firm changeup.
19 583 Connor Burke 2B La Serna HS, Whittier, Calif. Calif.
20 613 Devon Reed SS Milford (Del.) HS Del.
21 643 Chase Wier RHP Stephen F. Austin State Texas
22 673 Collin Cargill RHP Southern Mississippi Miss.
The Golden Eagles also have yet another submarine closer, a signature for the program that produced Chad Bradford. Senior Colin Cargill isn't quite a knuckle-scraper like Bradford but gets plenty of sink on his mid-80s fastball and has used his slider more this season, making him tougher on lefthanded hitters. He's tough to elevate and has given up just 24 runs in 51 appearances the last two seasons.
23 703 Tyler Higgins RHP Lansing (Mich.) CC Mich.
24 733 Tony Caldwell C Auburn Ala.
25 763 Sean Donatello RHP Connecticut-Avery Point JC Conn.
26 793 Ryan Goetz 3B UC Riverside Calif.
27 823 Frankie Reed LHP Cal Poly Calif.
28 853 Brad Mincey RHP East Carolina N.C.
29 883 Matt Neil RHP Brigham Young Utah
Righthander Matthew Neil also attracted attention for the Cougars. He has a big frame at 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds and ran his fastball up to 92 mph with a slider and occasional changeup. He's old for a senior after serving a two-year Mormon mission to New York. Neil has experience as a starter, but will likely get his chance as a reliever at the next level.
30 913 Jose Behar C Florida International Fla.
31 943 Kenny Jackson 3B Texas A&M Texas
32 973 Sharif Othman C California Baptist Calif.
33 1003 James Nygren RHP Oregon State Ore.
Oregon State also has a senior sign in righthander James Nygren, who was decidedly mediocre in his first three years with the Beavers but was having a solid season at 8-3, 3.18. Nygren can run his fastball up to 94 mph, but he's most effective when he's 88-91 and goes with movement over pure velocity. He attacks the bottom half of the strike zone and produces a lot of ground balls. He throws three pitches for strikes, including a slider that pairs nicely with his sinking fastball and a changeup. He smoothed out his delivery some and worked hard this season to improve his tempo and get into a better rhythm on the mound.
34 1033 John Schultz OF Pittsburgh Pa.
35 1063 Johnny Omahen RHP Cal State San Marcos Calif.
36 1093 Damek Tomscha 3B Iowa Western CC Iowa
Third baseman Damek Tomscha was the most dangerous hitter on an Iowa Western CC team that returned to Grand Junction to defend its 2010 national championship. A freshman drafted in the 50th round by the Phillies a year ago, he's a physical 6-foot-3, 223-pounder with lots of raw righthanded power. His swing is long, and he has yet to prove he can hit quality breaking balls. He moves well at third base, and scouts are intrigued by his potential as a pitcher after clocking him at 95 mph throwing across the infield during fall practice. Tomscha prefers to hit and didn't take the mound this spring.
37 1123 Jake Ehret RHP San Dimas (Calif.) HS Calif.
Righthander Jacob Ehret is still fairly new to pitching but shows feel for an 87-88 mph fastball that touches 89-90 and a curveball. He has a good 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame and could blossom under UCLA coach John Savage's tutelage.
38 1153 Joe Ceja RHP Marquette HS, Ottawa, Ill. Ill.
Two of Illinois' top prep pitchers, Marquette Academy (Ottawa) righthander Joe Ceja and Breese Central HS lefty Bryant Holtmann, went down with elbow problems. A Louisville recruit, Ceja touched 93 mph last summer before having a bone spur removed in January.
39 1183 Travis Huber RHP JC of Southern Idaho Idaho
Huber was a 47th-round draft pick by the Marlins last year, when he was sitting 91-93 mph out of the bullpen. He moved into the rotation this year and was down to 88-90, but he can spin a tight curveball and has a hard slider he uses as an out pitch. He'll likely return to the bullpen as a pro. If he doesn't sign, he is committed to Nebraska.
40 1213 Trent Gilbert SS Torrance (Calif.) HS Calif.
41 1243 Matt Anderson RHP Chaffey (Calif.) JC Calif.
42 1273 Jerad Grundy LHP Heartland (Ill.) CC Ill.
Lefthander Jerad Grundy earned a scholarship to Miami out of Johnsburg (Ill.) HS, but after pitching just 18 innings as a freshman in 2010, he transferred back home to Heartland CC. With an 88-92 mph fastball that touches 94 and a slider that generates swings and misses, he has the weapons to be a late-inning reliever in pro ball. His size (6 feet, 183 pounds) and maximum-effort delivery probably will prevent him from remaining a starter, though he does flash an average changeup. A 46th-round pick of the Rangers out of high school, Grundy has committed to Kentucky for 2012.
43 1303 Drew Leenhouts LHP Northeastern Mass.
44 1333 Zack LaNeve SS Pine-Richland HS, Gibsonia, Pa. Pa.
45 1363 Tim Zufall OF Lamar (Colo.) CC Colo.
46 1393 Zach Cooper RHP Central Michigan Mich.
Righthander Zach Cooper has an 88-93 mph fastball, but he doesn't use it or command it enough. His hard, biting slider is his out pitch, and he relies on it too much. He's just 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds, and he has some effort and works uphill in his delivery, so he'll be a reliever in pro ball. His stuff should play up when he comes out of the bullpen, and could be good enough for set-up duty.
47 1423 Joel Thys C Ohlone (Calif.) JC Calif.
48 1453 Chris Nunez 2B Goddard HS, Roswell, N.M. N.M.
49 1483 Connor Little RHP Hawaii Hawaii
50 1513 Cory Caruso LHP Cal State San Bernadino Calif.