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Jake Eder Is Poised To Move Quickly



Lefthander Jake Eder is fueled by a constant quest to learn and improve in all facets of his life.

The 2020 fourth-round pick out of Vanderbilt spent the past several months learning to play guitar, speak Spanish, work toward getting his real estate license and completing his Bachelor’s degree.

At the top of the 22-year-old's list: sharpening his arsenal of pitches.

“Jake is a high-IQ kid,” said Alan Kunkel, who coached Eder at Fort Lauderdale's Calvary Christian High and is now an assistant at South Florida. “He constantly challenges himself.

“He is and will be a life-long learner who is not satisfied with remaining stagnant. He will ask good questions, test the data and find an edge. His development with the Marlins will be expedited because he’s so cerebral.”

Eder signed with the Marlins for an over-slot $700,000. He is a 6-foot-4, 215-pound starter whose career highlight came as a reliever.

As a sophomore in the 2019 College World Series, he allowed one run in three innings and notched a save in Vanderbilt's deciding Game 3 victory of the finals against Michigan.

Eder said the celebration was . . . heavy.

“Everyone started rushing toward me and (catcher Philip Clarke),” Eder said. “Phil and I were at the bottom of that dogpile, and it wasn’t as fun as you would think. That was a lot of weight on us.”

Marlins minor league pitching coach Scott Aldred, who grew up a Michigan fan, was rooting against Eder that day. That is not the case anymore.

Eder throws a 91-95 mph fastball, an out-pitch slurve that has become more of a slider than a curve and a fast-developing changeup that he didn’t need much or use often in college.

Aldred said Eder was perhaps inconsistent with his velocity in college. His walk rate at Vanderbilt was 4.6 per nine innings, which may have contributed to him sliding a bit in the draft.

“We think he will be a quick mover in our system,” Aldred said. “I’m pretty happy with the pick. I think Jake is going to be a steal.”

FISH BITES

— The Marlins will bring two major league Rule 5 draft picks to spring training, both righthanded relievers. Miami selected Paul Campbell from the Rays and traded for Zach Pop after the D-backs drafted him from the Orioles.

Pop had Tommy John surgery in July 2019. “I think the timeline suggests Zach is pretty far along and should be ready to go,” Aldred said. “Both of these guys have good arms. Our organization did a good job researching the Rule 5 draft, and these were two of our targets.”

— The Marlins' projected full-season affiliates for 2021 include three clubs based in Florida: Low-A Jupiter, Double-A Pensacola and Triple-A Jacksonville. The exception is High-A Beloit, which is based in Wisconsin. Jacksonville, which has been affiliated with the Marlins since 2009, moves up from Double-A to Triple-A.

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