2012 Draft Report Cards: Miami Marlins




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POSITION PLAYERS

QUICK TAKE
The Marlins avoided disaster by signing Heaney after breaking off negotiations and by landing Romero at the deadline. Romero, Copeland and Dean add some much-needed offensive talent to the system.
Bonus spending:  $5.8 million
Best Pure Hitter:
All three of the Marlins' high school position players from the top four rounds—3B/2B Avery Romero (3), OFs Kolby Copeland (3s) and Austin Dean (4)—show some feel with the bat. Copeland has the best pure hitting ability. He has a compact lefthanded stroke and a flat swing path that keeps his bat in the zone for a long time. Best Power Hitter: Romero (3) has a thicker build, similar to that of Dan Uggla. While it's not clear where he'll wind up defensively, Romero has a strong, short swing with above-average power potential. Fastest Runner: The Marlins didn't draft any burners. OF Cody Keefer(15) has above-average speed and plays a good center field. Best Defensive Player: SS Austin Nola (5) lacks impact with the bat and hit just .211/.305/.268 in his debut, but he's a steady defender with soft hands, quick feet and good infield actions.

PITCHERS

Best Fastball:
For pure velocity, RHP Ryan Newell (7) was up to 97 mph in the spring but topped out at 95 after signing. LHP Andrew Heaney (1) sits mostly in the 92-93 mph range, but did touch 97 in his final pro outing this year and his fastball plays up because of its action and his command. Best Secondary Pitch: Heaney's slider is a 65 offering on the 20-80 scouting scale, typically arriving at 83-85 mph. The pitch has late downer action, making it a weapon against lefties and righties alike. His fastball and slider helped him lead NCAA Division I pitchers with 140 strikeouts at Oklahoma State in the spring.

ODDS AND ENDS

Best Pro Debut:
With his 91-93 mph fastball and hard curveball, RHP Nick Wittgren (9) posted a 1.17 ERA, 13 saves and a 47-5 K-BB ratio in 31 innings between short-season Jamestown and low Class A Greensboro. Best Athlete: Copeland was a high school quarterback and shows good instincts, body control and hand-eye coordination. Though he played mostly first base in high school, Dean has solid speed and athleticism. Most Intriguing Background: C Michael Vaughn (14) is a quadruplet whose uncle, Shawn Gilbert, spent parts of three seasons in the big leagues. Unsigned SS Lucas Hunter's (31) father Brian L. and OF Eddie Sappelt's (37) brother Dave also played in the majors. Closest To The Majors: Heaney's stuff and advanced feel should allow him to start his first full pro season in high Class A. Wittgren could do the same. Best Late-Round Pick: In addition to his speed and defense, Keefer has a smooth lefthanded swing with some sneaky power. The One Who Got Away: The Marlins drew the line at paying any draft tax, letting 3B/RHP Cody Gunter go to Grayson County (Texas) CC rather than paying him $200,000. He offers lefthanded power and also throws 90-92 off the mound.