Marlins 2020 Draft Preview: Miami Will Again Land A Prominent Name
Unlike the NBA or NFL drafts, MLB teams do not draft for immediate need. There’s good reason for that, as even the most MLB-ready draft prospects usually take two seasons to get fully established in the majors. But as we ready for the 2020 MLB draft, it is useful to look at where teams are deep and where they are thin at the MLB and minor league level.
Also of note:
2019 RECORD: 57-105
STATE OF THE SYSTEM: The rebuilding Marlins have a wealth of arms led by righthanders Sixto Sanchez and Edward Cabrera and lefthanders Braxton Garrett and Trevor Rogers, but the existing position players they were counting on have largely underwhelmed. That led the organization to aggressively seek new position player prospects last year, acquiring Jazz Chisholm, Jesus Sanchez and Lewin Diaz in trades and drafting J.J. Bleday with the fourth overall pick.
BEST DRAFT PICK OF THE DECADE: OF Christian Yelich (first round, 2010). The Marlins began the decade by drafting Yelich with the 23rd overall pick in 2010. He raced to the majors, gave Miami five strong seasons and was signed to a team-friendly contract extension, but the always-frugal Marlins traded him to Milwaukee just as he was about to enter his prime. Yelich, of course, won the 2018 National League MVP award in his first season with the Brewers and has blossomed into one of baseball’s elite players.
WORST DRAFT PICK OF THE DECADE: RHP Tyler Kolek (first round, 2014). The latest high school righthander who threw hard but didn’t know how to actually pitch, Kolek routinely topped 100 mph but couldn’t throw strikes or a viable secondary pitch. He is 5-16, 5.66 with 124 walks, 20 hit batters and 42 wild pitches in 163.2 career innings and has yet to rise above low Class A in five seasons. He went unprotected and unselected in the Rule 5 draft last winter.
DEEPEST POSITION(S): Pitcher. The aforementioned Sanchez, Cabrera, Garrett and Rogers give the Marlins an enticing foursome of both righties and lefties who have reached Double-A. Righthanders Nick Neidert and Jorge Guzman give Miami two more quality righthanders in the upper levels with major league futures.
WEAKEST POSITION(S): Third base. The Marlins are light at a few spots in the infield, but some of their shortstop prospects should be able to slide over to second base and cover the franchise’s hole there. Third base is more of a problem area. None of the Marlins’ Top 30 Prospects plays third, and none of their shortstop prospects profile particularly well over there. The good news is Brian Anderson has third base locked down in the majors, so the Marlins don’t need to rush or reach for a third base prospect.
DRAFT TRENDS: The Marlins have used their last six first or supplemental first-round picks on either an outfielder or a lefthanded pitcher.