Draft Report Cards: Florida Marlins

The Marlins hit familiar themes: Southern California for Yelich, and scouting director Stan Meek's Oklahoma background for Realmuto. They went more for college arms than high schoolers, with the exception of Brice.
Bonus Spending: $4.4 million

BEST PURE HITTER: The Marlins drafted 1B Christian Yelich (1) in the first round because of his bat and compare him favorably at a similar stage to 2002 first-rounder Jeremy Hermida. He has a pure, easy swing, hangs in well against lefthanders and went 17-for-47 (.362) in his debut. » BEST POWER HITTER: Righthanded-hitting OF Mark Canha (7) has power to all fields, with his best power to right, and hit four homers in his first 14 games at short-season Jamestown.  » FASTEST RUNNER: Raw OF Kentrell Dewitt (13) is a lefthanded hitter with well above-average speed, covering 60 yards in 6.5 seconds. He has contact issues to work on, though (.183, 32 SO in 93 pro ABs). » BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Right now, it's 1B Aaron Senne (10), who has arm strength and good actions at first. Down the line, it should be C J.T. Realmuto (3) a prep shortstop who is making the conversion. Scouting director Stan Meek saw a rare catching appearance by Realmuto in high school and saw soft hands, a 1.87-second pop time  and natural footwork.


BEST FASTBALL: None of the Marlins' draftees has a jaw-dropping fastball, but there are plenty of above-average ones, led by prep RHP Austin Brice (9) and college RHPs Robert Morey (5), Rett Varner (6) and Alan Oaks (8). Morey and Varner have touched 95, while Oaks and the projectable Brice have hit 94.  » BEST SECONDARY PITCH: LHP Rob Rasmussen (2) helped get UCLA to the College World Series with two breaking balls: a plus curve in the mid-70s and a hard slider that can reach the mid-80s.


BEST PRO DEBUT: Yelich reached low Class A Greensboro and held his own. Jamestown's OF/3B Ryan Fisher (15) wasn't even an everyday player at UC Irvine, but he led the New York-Penn League in extra-base hits (41) and doubles (24). Jamestown teammate Varner went 4-1, 2.14. RHP Jared Rogers (36) went 6-1, 1.21 in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, though he's a 22-year-old collegian. » BEST ATHLETE: Realmuto wins as a middle-of-the-diamond athlete and a former quarterback. 2B Danny Black (13) has wiry strength and athletic ability in his lean 6-foot-3, 170-pound frame. » MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND: Realmuto's uncle John Smith has won five national titles as Oklahoma State's wrestling coach and two Olympic gold medals himself as a wrestler. Unsigned OF Andrew Toles (4) is the son of former NFL linebacker Alvin Toles. » CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: Rasmussen. The Marlins want him to start, but he'll move even quicker as a lefty specialist thanks to his feel for spinning the ball. » BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: The Marlins love Fisher's bat and have to find a position for him. He's probably ticketed for a corner outfield spot. » THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY: Toles was the most athletic player the Marlins picked, but they couldn't keep him away from Tennessee. The Marlins also made a run at RHP Randy LeBlanc (16), who took his 94 mph fastball to Tulane.