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For the second time in three years, the Marlins drafted a high school pitcher with their first-round pick. But unlike burly righthanded Texan Tyler Kolek--the No. 2 overall pick in 2014--the Alabama prep lefthander does not light up radar guns. His fastball sits in the low 90s compared with the high 90s where Kolek resides. Garrett has big-game experience, having helped USA Baseball's 18U team win the gold medal at the 2015 World Cup--which he called his favorite baseball experience--and then throwing a four-hit shutout at USA Baseball's National High School Invitational in March 2016. At No. 7 overall, Garrett was the highest-drafted Alabama prep player since shortstop Condredge Holloway of Lee High in Huntsville went fourth overall to the Expos in 1971 He was the highest-drafted Alabama prep pitcher since righty Rick James, drafted sixth overall in the first draft in 1965. Garrett, a Vanderbilt commit with a 3.8 grade-point average, was considered a tough sign and cost the Marlins $4,145,900, well above the $3,756,300 slot value. Garrett's pitch best is his 11-to-5 curveball, which has earned future plus grades for its tight spin and break. He also commands the pitch well by throwing it for strikes and as a chase pitch. He had just 15 walks in 65.1 innings with a 0.53 ERA and 131 strikeouts as a senior at Florence (Ala.) High, which earned him Gatorade player-of-the-year honors for the state of Alabama. Garrett's father Steve, who coached him in high school, taught him his curveball at age 13. Scouts said his curve was one of the best in the 2016 draft--just behind New Jersey prep lefthander Jason Groome, a Red Sox first-round pick--and rated him as having the best control of any pitcher in the class. Garrett's fastball sits 91-93 mph with late life. At 6-foot-3, he has the frame to add good weight, which could enable him to add velocity. He has worked the most on improving the arm speed on his changeup, and it shows some fade. He has a balanced, easy delivery that he repeats extremely well, allowing him to fill the zone with quality strikes. Garrett has worked with Marlins coaches on developing a between-starts routine for the more demanding pro throwing schedule. Garrett did not sign until the signing deadline on July 15. His late signing, combined with the Marlins' cautious approach, prevented the 19-year-old from taking a mound as a pro until instructional league, when he had three abbreviated outings. The Marlins say Garrett was not injured. Rather they were being cautious after his spring workload. He did travel with the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League team. Evaluators believe Garrett could have three above-average pitches to go with at above-average command. Given his pitchability and age (he was old for the draft class), the Marlins could skip Garrett to full-season ball in 2017.
The Giants kept Castillo in the Dominican Summer League for two years before jumping him to low Class A Augusta in 2014. The Marlins, who also have an affiliate in the South Atlantic League, acquired him (and righty Kendry Flores) in a December 2014 trade for veteran Casey McGehee. The Marlins traded Castillo in the Andrew Cashner-headlined deal with the Padres in July 2016, only to have Castillo returned because Colin Rea reported to Miami with a bad elbow and later had Tommy John surgery. Castillo first joined the rotation in July 2015 but maintains elite fastball velocity thanks to outstanding arm strength. He hit 101 mph in 2016 and sat consistently at 96-97. He has easy velocity, with a smooth delivery that helps his fastball jump on hitters, though it can be straight at times. Castillo throws from a three-quarters arm angle, which helps give his slider depth and some curveball-like action. It projects as an above-average pitch. Castillo has feel for a power changeup, but he's still finding the right grip. It has potential to be an average pitch as well. He has shown great makeup and the ability to overcome in-game adversity. With an overpowering fastball and the potential for two at-least-average secondary pitches, Castillo has moved from bullpen arm to potential mid-rotation starter. He should begin 2017 at Double-A Jacksonville.
The No. 2 overall pick in 2014, Kolek signed for a franchise-record $6 million but hasn't shown the Marlins the 100 mph velocity he had in high school. After struggling through a 2015 season in which his stuff backed up at low Class A Greensboro, Kolek missed the 2016 season following Tommy John surgery in April. At 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, Kolek counts size and physicality among his biggest strengths. He has a bulky torso and lower half with great arm strength and surprising quickness when he's healthy. He powers the ball to the plate with a long stride and can drive his fastball down in the zone with heavy sink. Despite his 2015 struggles, Kolek has allowed just seven homers in 130.2 pro innings, evidence his pitches are difficult to hit squarely. However, his slider and changeup played as well below-average, making it easy for batters to wait on his fastball, and his command also was below-average. Prior to his injury, Kolek struggled to have a consistent direct path to the plate and tended to get side-to-side with a crossfire delivery. Despite his draft pedigree, he competes and has the makeup of a grinder. The Marlins plan to rebuild Kolek's delivery and attempt to sharpen his offspeed pitches in spring training. His performance there will determine where and when he opens 2017, but he's unlikely to be ready by Opening Day.
Anderson's prep roots in Oklahoma helped get him on the Marlins' radar. Scouting director Stan Meek is a former OU pitcher and assistant coach and longtime Norman resident. Miami made him a 2014 third-round pick out of Arkansas because they admired his versatility and strong, righthanded bat. Anderson began 2016 at high Class A Jupiter but hit his way to Double-A Jacksonville, then led the Arizona Fall League with five home runs. Anderson identifies pitches early and is selective, and his feel for hitting helps his above-average raw power play more and more as he gains experience. Scouts believe he could hit 15-20 homers or more at his peak. At 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, Anderson has projection left in his wiry, athletic frame. At third base, he has above-average defensive tools with good footwork and range and a plus throwing arm capable of easily making throws from deep third. While he slumped defensively with a career-worst 27 errors in 2016, one evaluator called him the best defensive player in the organization. Anderson added time at first base in the AFL, played some second base in 2014 and played outfield in college at Arkansas. He has a floor as a utility player with power, in the Ryan Raburn mold, but the Marlins see him as a future regular at third. He probably will return to Jacksonville to start 2017 with an eye on Triple-A New Orleans by midseason.
The "p" in the Peters family stands for pitching. His grandfather pitched semipro ball, and his father Mark pitched in college and coached Dillon in travel ball. A prep star in Indianapolis, Peters turned down big offers out of high school (the Indians drafted him in the 20th round in 2011) to go to Texas. He thrived there (17-7, 2.26) until hurting his elbow in May 2014. The Marlins drafted him that year knowing he needed Tommy John surgery and signed him for $175,000. He finished 2016 at Double-A Jacksonville. After touching 96 mph in high school, Peters' velocity stepped back in college to the 88-92 range. But following surgery, recovery and rehabilitation, his velocity ticked back up in 2016 to where he was touching 96 mph and sitting 93-94 with sink. More impressively, the smallish lefty maintained his velocity late into games with the above-average command he had as an amateur. His curveball has tight spin and is at least an average pitch and flashes above-average. His changeup is solid-average as well. In addition, Peters has a bulldog mentality that helps his stuff play up. Even at 5-foot-9, Peters has big league stuff and command, and he has positioned himself to help in Miami as soon as 2017. He should return to Jacksonville to begin 2017, but with his poise and makeup, could jump right to the majors if the need arises. He projects as a No. 4 starter.
Garcia grew up playing soccer and didn't play baseball until he was 15, when his friends and a coach in the Dominican Republic convinced him to try the game. He was just 5-foot-7 at the time but grew seven inches before signing with the Marlins. It took Garcia three seasons to reach full-season ball, and he missed more than two months in 2016 with a triceps strain. He returned to the field as a reliever, which he also filled in the Arizona Fall League and in winter ball in the Dominican. Garcia has some of the best pure stuff in the system, with a fastball that touches 96 mph, a curveball that can be a strikeout pitch and a slider and changeup, both of which grade presently as fringe-average offerings. The lithe lefthander is athletic, with a clean delivery that helps give him above-average control. He has averaged just 2.2 walks per nine innings as a pro. Because he doesn't have a consistent swing-and-miss secondary pitch, he will have to improve his fastball command or sharpen his curveball to remain a starter. Garcia received a brief callup to the majors in July 2016--he was not used in his four-day stay--but he could see Marlins Park again in 2017 if he stays healthy. He has a No. 4 starter ceiling but may wind up in the bullpen.
Cabrera was one of five players the Marlins signed for $100,000 in July 2015. He trained with Ramon Genao, who also trained the Marlins' most expensive signee of that class, outfielder Mario Prenza, who received $550,000. While Prenza reported to the Dominican Summer League and hit .136 in 2016, Cabrera followed an impressive showing at instructional league with a jump to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League for his pro debut. Cabrera has a tall, projectable frame and has already seen his stuff tick up since he signed. He touched 94 mph in 2016 and sat 92-93 with his fastball, and he can cut and run it in to righthanded batters. Evaluators project he could add more velocity to his fastball as he fills out physically. His slider flashes plus with good tilt, and his firm changeup, while currently below-average, flashes promise. As with most teenagers, Cabrera has some mechanical adjustments to make. For instance, he doesn't get enough extension over his front leg. Cabrera was one of the most sought-after players in the Marlins system as the organization went shopping for pitching help at the 2016 trade deadline. He shows uncommon poise for his age, and one evaluator said his stuff compares favorably with former Marlins farmhand (and current Astros No. 1 prospect) Francis Martes at the same age. Cabrera projects as a midrotation starter and should make his full-season debut in 2017.
Dean played first and second base at Klein Collins High, but the Marlins drafted him as an outfielder because of his slow footwork and because they believed his raw power would profile in left field. He turned down a chance to play at Texas with prep teammate C.J. Hinojosa (now with the Giants) when he signed for $367,200 as a 2012 fourth-round pick. Dean has a feel for the barrel, so the Marlins believed the raw power he shows in batting practice would play in games once he got out of the power-suppressing Florida State League. He hit a career-high 11 homers at Double-A Jacksonville in 2016 but appeared to sell out for the improved power production, striking out a career-worst 110 times. Pitchers got wise to Dean's approach, or lack thereof, in the second half, when he hit .212/.262/.320 with just three homers. He has average to a tick above-average speed but attempted just three steals in 2016 after swiping 18 of 28 in 2015. He's an average outfield defender with a below-average arm, limiting him to left field. Dean still has time to develop, but as a left fielder, he's going to have to get to his power more often. The Marlins have a young, talented big league outfield, so they didn't shield Dean from the Rule 5 draft. He will be ticketed for Triple-A New Orleans in 2017.
Garrett passed on a Rice commitment to sign with the Marlins in 2014 for $162,400. He missed more than two months in 2016 after injuring his hand in an incident with 2015 first-rounder Josh Naylor that involved a knife. The Marlins termed it a "prank gone bad," but Miami subsequently traded Naylor in July, while Garrett's agent, Larry Reynolds, told reporters the incident was not just horseplay gone awry. Garrett needed three stitches and sustained some nerve damage to his right thumb, which necessitated surgery. Garrett has above-average strength, speed and power potential, with a premium pro body, but his raw tools need a lot of refinement. It's difficult to gauge how much the rehab and injury factored into Garrett's struggles upon his return--he went 10-for-76 with 24 strikeouts. Well-regarded for his self-motivating makeup, he has a lot of work to do on his offensive approach. He needs to use his lower half in his swing better to tap into his raw power. He may wind up in left field rather than center, putting further pressure on his bat. Garrett went to instructional league before getting some extra reps in the Australian Baseball League. He's raw enough that he could repeat low Class A Greensboro in 2017.
A two-sport star in high school, Jones drew interest from high-profile college football programs such as Notre Dame, Clemson and South Carolina. Ultimately, he chose to pass on football, as well as his college baseball commitment to Vanderbilt, to sign with the Marlins as a 2016 second-round pick for $1 million. At 6-foot-4, 195 pounds, Jones is a physical specimen and the kind of "off-the-bus" guy scouts fall in love with. He has five-tool potential, but he's super raw. Some evaluators see natural talent and athleticism to dream on. Others cite a lack of polish and lack of focus at times that make an already high-risk player even more risky. One evaluator said Jones has plus bat speed but lacks bat control. Another said he looks bored in the outfield and lacks the defensive chops and arm to play anywhere but left field, though his below-average power would be stretched there. He is a plus runner. Jones is all about projection, not present ability. If he develops, he could make an impact in several aspects of the game, but the Marlins will need to take the long view. Jones will likely begin 2017 in extended spring training then head back to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League.
Soto's $310,000 bonus was the second-highest payout behind Jhonny Santos among Miami's 2013 international signings. The Marlins were comfortable enough with his makeup to jump him straight to the U.S. The stocky Soto has short arms that produce above-average bat speed and he consistently puts the barrel to fastballs. His full-season debut showed promise, especially against righthanders. But he struggled against lefthanders (.211/.280/.316), with one evaluator saying Soto did not make the adjustments to seeing more spin than he had previously. He has plus raw power to the gaps, more doubles power than over-the fence pop because of his line-drive bat path. Soto was a center fielder when he signed but has played primarily right field as a pro. He's an average defender in the corner with a slightly above-average arm. He's an average runner for now who could slow with age. One of the Marlins' better low-minors bats, Soto will reach high Class A Jupiter at some point in 2017.
A prep shortstop in Minnesota, Esch was mostly a middle infielder at Georgia Tech, but scouts believed his pro future would be on the mound even though he pitched just five innings as a junior. The Marlins liked his arm strength and grabbed him in the 11th round. Esch finally got to Double-A in 2015 and took a big step forward, executing his pitches down in the zone and showing improvements across the board. The Marlins put him on the 40-man roster last December, paving his way to make his big league debut in 2016. As expected of a former position player, Esch is athletic, with a smooth arm action and clean delivery. He has a two-seam and four-seam fastball at 90-94 mph, a slider that ranges 82-86 that flashes average to tick above and a changeup with fade that can be too firm at times. The 26-year-old Esch profiles as a back-end starter, and with the untimely death of Jose Fernandez, is likely to push for a big league job in 2017.
Brice passed on Appalachian State to sign for $205,000 in 2010, and this is his sixth appearance in the Marlins' Top 30. He's made upward progress the past four. It took six seasons for Brice to get onto the 40-man roster, and in the seventh year, he got to the majors. Brice always has had swing-and-miss stuff, but he started mixing a two-seam fastball at 90-94 mph for ground balls along with a power, downer slider that helps him dominate righthanded hitters (.203 average). He lacked a third pitch to keep lefthanders at bay, although he showed improvement from his career norms (.267 vs. .319 opponent average in 2015). A move to the bullpen midway through the season accelerated his development. His control improved, largely because he stopped nibbling as he did as a starter, while his strikeout rate remained in line with career norms. He's likely in 2017 to be a part of a young Marlins bullpen.
Poteet pitched in multiple roles for deep Bruins staffs that included 2015 first-rounder James Kaprelian, making 39 starts and 34 relief appearances in three seasons. The Marlins placed him in the rotation upon drafting him and signing him for a slot bonus of $488,700 in the fourth round in 2015. Poteet's velocity ticks up out of the bullpen to about 94 mph, but as a starter he sits 88-92 mph with his fastball with running action to the arm side. He generates a fair amount of ground balls thanks to the pitch's boring action. His slider flashes above-average with some tilt and his curveball shows average, although it can get loopy. His changeup needs more repetitions to become useful. Poteet profiles as a back-end starter and has been compared to Tom Koehler, albeit with less velocity, and Mike Leake. If he can't clean up his changeup, he could be a solid middle relief option who relies primarily on a fastball and slider.
As a junior in high school in Colorado, Holloway was 5-foot-9, 135 pounds. Now he stands 6-5, 210 pounds with perhaps the best pure stuff in the organization beside Luis Castillo. The projectable righthander has athletic lineage. His father pitched in college; his mother was a high school hurdler who now runs marathons; and his younger sister plays volleyball. But after a breakout 2015, Holloway struggled in 2016. In addition to minor triceps and biceps issues, Holloway battled his emotions, getting too amped up on the mound. His fastball velocity is plus--he touched 98 mph this season--and his curveball flashes plus. His changeup is a work in progress. Evaluators expect his current below-average command will improve as he gets used to his still-growing body and the subsequent impact on his mechanics. Holloway is raw but has plenty of ability, with athleticism and two potentially plus pitches. The Marlins say the injuries were not a long-term concern and he'll probably get another shot at start at low Class A in 2017.
A 170-pound beanpole when he signed out of Boca Chica in 2009, Guerrero put on 45 pounds and started setting off radar guns. The towering Colombian reliever routinely touched 100 mph in 2016 and earned his first big league callup with the Padres before being traded to the Marlins in July in the deal that sent Josh Naylor to San Diego. The swing-and-miss stuff is there for Guerrero to be a back-end reliever in the majors with upper-90s velocity and a slider that flashes plus at times. But like many pitchers his size, Guerrero has trouble keeping his delivery in sync. his delivery isn't violent but lacks efficiency; one evaluator likened it to an angry stork. Coordination and general mechanics will need a lot of work for him to have enough control to be effective. But if he can curtail his wildness, as he did at times at Double-A Jacksonville, he can be a neffective, late-inning reliever.
Guaimaro is one of five Venezuelan prospects removed from the Red Sox in 2016 after the organization, according to the office of the commissioner, engaged in circumvention of the international bonus pools by signing several Venezuelan players in "package deals." The Marlins signed Guaimaro in July. He has a compact frame and a short stroke from the right side with good bat speed. He's an aggressive hitter with a line-drive approach, he hits to all fields and the ball already jumps off his bat well. Guaimaro is a good athlete who had been playing center field for the Red Sox, though with his body type, he projects to slow down from his tick above-average speed and would likely end up in right field if he stayed in the outfield. The Marlins had discussed converting Guaimaro to catcher, as he has an above-average throwing arm. Guaimaro has a high baseball IQ and gets high marks for makeup and his love for the game. He should make his U.S. debut in 2017 in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League.
The Red Sox drafted Nelson in the 18th round out of a Georgia high school but the sides couldn't match up, so he headed to Cisco (Texas) JC for a season. The Marlins signed the nephew of 2004 first-rounder and ex-big leaguer Chris Nelson for $75,000 in June. A shortstop in high school, the Marlins placed Nelson at third base and saw him make 12 errors in 40 games. A scout who saw him said despite the errors, Nelson looked comfortable at the hot corner and settled in as the season went on. Nelson has the plus arm strength to play third but does short-arm the ball on occasion. Nelson has an athletic frame with plenty of room for strength gains. He has an upper-cut swing and just average bat speed, but still manages to put together solid at-bats and doesn't show much swing and miss, although he'll occasionally chase. Scouts, however, note his aptitude that after he chases, if the pitcher doubles up, Nelson can do damage. As he grows into man strength, Nelson projects to have average power and he has some feel to hit. He's an average runner who may be challenged with a jump to low Class A Greensboro in 2017.
The righthander missed his junior year at Washington with Tommy John surgery but bounced back as a redshirt junior in 2014, which prompted the Dodgers to pop him in the fourth round. The Marlins acquired Brigham at the 2015 trade deadline for Mat Latos, and his velocity has come back. Brigham was touching 98 mph this season and mostly sitting 90-94. Brigham combines easy plus velocity with an attack mentality and has late movement on his fastball. His biggest development has been sharpening his slider from sweepy to hard and slicing, flashing plus. That led to more strikeouts in 2016, though his groundball rate plummeted. His below-average changeup has significant room to improve. Brigham is a good athlete and fields his position well. He's ultra competitive to the point of losing composure at times. His most likely role in the long-term is as a power reliever. He's headed for Double-A in 2017.
Morales was eligible for the 2013 draft but was not selected and ended up repeating his senior year after breaking his right wrist. Morales fits the profile for Puerto Rican catchers, with a strong arm as his carrying tool. His receiving and blocking skills have improved to earn average grades, if not a tick above. His plus arm strength is good enough for the Marlins to consider pitching a fallback option. But one evaluator called Morales the Marlins' best catching prospect. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder has a strong, durable body and a bushel of intangibles. Morales has average bat speed, giving him potential for average power, but he has not tapped into it in games. Morales has some feel to hit and grinds at-bats. His poor speed helped result in 10 double plays in just 60 games. He missed the last month of the season and instructional league with a right wrist issue but should return to Greensboro as the full-time starter to start 2017.
Kentucky's Mr. Baseball in 2010 turned down the Red Sox, who drafted him in the 35th round, to attend UK. He played all over the infield for Kentucky, though primarily at second base, and has primarily played shortstop as a pro. He shows a plus arm and good-enough hands to stay at the position, which helps him profile well as a future utility man with a lefthanded bat. He committed just six errors in 84 games at short in 2016 and had a .982 fielding percentage. Despite his aggressive offensive approach, Riddle limits his strikeouts (13.7 percent for his career) because of a compact swing and level bat path. Riddle has gap power and some ability to pop the ball out of the park but produces below-average power. He's an average runner but doesn't try to steal much. His ability to play multiple positions and propensity for contact portend a useful utility career. Riddle receives high marks for leadership and makeup.
White was drafted out of tiny Greenfield School--which had never had a player drafted and then had two popped in 2015. He is a super athletic player with plus-plus speed. One scout compared him to Royals burner Terrence Gore. But White is very raw as a ballplayer. He lacks polish and will need plenty of at-bats to stabilize his approach. He was not accustomed to facing top-notch pitching as an amateur and will have to continue to make adjustments at the plate. White does not recognize pitches well and generally needs a hitting approach. Scouts are split on his bat speed, with one rating it as top-of-the-scale but another saying it was just average. He has the raw speed to outrun mistakes in the outfield but doesn't take charge in center field. Still, White earns good marks for his makeup and coachability, leading scouts to believe patience is necessary for him to reach his projection.
Perez was a fireman for Missouri State in the old-school, Rollie Fingers sense of the word. He threw 91 innings in 36 appearances. Some teams might have been concerned about how frequently he pitched and how many innings he threw, but the Marlins were impressed with his durability and intelligence, and the fact that he would sign for just $20,000, allowing them to allocate more of their bonus pool to sign top pick Braxton Garrett. They also used him heavily in his pro debut, as he tossed 48.1 more innings. He has a strong body and his velocity zoomed when he had proper rest. He was flashing 96 mph, and he throws a slider and changeup as well with good deception as the ball appears to come out of his shirt. He's lean and athletic and draws comparisons to former Marlins draft pick Anthony DeSclafani. His delivery makes it seem as though he jumps at the batter, but it is not a maximum effort delivery. Tall and physical, Perez is an aggressive strike-thrower who has the poise to move quickly as a reliever, but the Marlins intend to see what he can do as a starter. His ultimate role, however, is probably back in the bullpen.
Steckenrider only teased tools as a two-way player in high school, and it took a while for the package to come together at Tennessee. But as a junior for then-new Volunteers coach Dave Serrano, Steckenrider was terrific out of the 'pen and got drafted in the eighth round by the Marlins. After a solid debut, he felt pain in his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery in 2013. He lost 18 months to rehab before returning in 2015. Steckenrider was finally healthy in 2016 and put himself squarely on the Marlins' radar, reaching Triple-A. After bouncing between the rotation and bullpen, Steckenrider thrived in a bullpen-only role in 2016 as he held opponents to a .141 average across the three levels, using a fastball that touches the mid-90s and a slider that flashes above-average. He throws in the occasional low-90s cutter and firm mid-80s changeup as well. He struck out 71 in 52 innings this season, including a brief-but-dominant high Class A stint in which he struck out more than half the batters he faced. He then went 2-1, 3.46 with 15 strikeouts in 13 innings in the Arizona Fall League, and was part of the first no-hitter in the AFL in 15 years. He should be in the mix for a major league bullpen role in 2017.
Lilek was originally drafted in the 37th round in 2012 by Seattle but had his heart set on Arizona State. After an excellent sophomore season, inconsistency as a junior cost Lilek his Friday starting slot in 2015, and cost him in the draft. He didn't fall far, though, and the Marlins made him a second-round pick, signing him for $1 million. Lilek battled left biceps tendinitis and arm fatigue and made just seven appearances in 2016, and he's thrown just 51 pro innings thus far. He rehabbed in instructional league and was expected to be ready for 2017. While Lilek lacks a true plus pitch, he pitches to his strengths and his arm slot gives him deception that helps his offerings play up. His fastball sits 90-94 mph at his best, and his curveball shows above average with tilt, but is not consistent. His changeup flashes average potential. He has the size, polish and stuff to project as a back-end starter, though health now is a factor as Lilek also battled shoulder tenderness in 2015.
Undrafted out of his Texas high school, Reed spent a year at Navarro (Texas) JC before enrolling at Oklahoma State. Reed made just five starts in 63 appearances as a collegian but his future could be in a rotation. A versatile part of the Cowboys' bullpen--he helped set up for closer Koda Glover in 2015--Reed struck out 44 in 35 innings in 2016. OSU coaches leaned on Reed early in the season, which caused his velocity to drop a tick during the season, when he was sitting 90-92 with his fastball and touching 94. But after he was drafted by the Marlins, the big-bodied righthander was up to 97 mph at short-season Batavia. The country-strong Texan also has pitchability with a four-pitch mix that makes starting him a possibility. He was primarily a fastball/slider pitcher, but he just began throwing a curveball last year and it might already be his best pitch. His changeup needs more repetitions to be usable. Even at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, Reed has room to grow. He's a strike-thrower who always wants the ball with a loose, easy and clean arm action and delivery. Expect him to earn a spot in low Class A Greensboro's rotation.
Beltre was signed as part of the 2010 international class, which also brought Jarlin Garcia. Beltre's talent has intrigued the organization for years, but injuries--including Tommy John surgery, which wiped out 2015--had slowed his progress. Healthy (for the most part) in 2016, Beltre showed his plus arm strength, hitting 100 mph in his final outing of the season and sitting 95-97 mph most of the season. In addition to his plus velocity, Beltre can command his three pitches--breaking ball and changeup--and profiles as a high-leverage reliever, one who could potentially ascend quickly if healthy. But his injuries are a major red flag, and he missed a month in 2016 as well. The Marlins decided not to protect him in the Rule 5 draft, even after re-signing him once he became a six-year free agent. After passing through the draft unselected, he gets to be a Jumbo Shrimp, as he should open 2017 at Double-A Jacksonville.
A track and football star in high school, Twine has plus athleticism but his baseball skills remain somewhat rudimentary. His best tool presently is double-plus speed. Scouts believe he has above-average raw power, but his aggressive approach negates that during games because he chases too often. He embraced a change in his swing, a leg tuck that the Marlins hope can lead to more consistent contact. When he does hit the ball, his exit velocity was among the best on the Greensboro club. He also took on a new position, second base, where evaluators said he looked natural and comfortable. He made just seven errors there (.985 fielding percentage) after making 29 (.940 FP) in 2015 at shortstop. His has plenty of arm strength for the position and cleaned up his arm stroke, now throwing three-quarters instead of sidearm. Twine gets plus marks for his work ethic, desire and competitiveness.
The 2014 College World Series hero was not drafted that June, even after hitting .400 and leading the Commodores to their first national championship with the game-winning home run in the '14 CWS Finals clincher. But Norwood didn't escape the Marlins' notice. They liked his Vanderbilt pedigree and the fact that he wanted to be a Marlin. They followed him in the Cape Cod League, where he hit .324 for Cotuit, and signed him shortly after for $275,000. Norwood is a quick-twitch athlete who can play all three outfield spots, but is better in a corner. His .397 slugging percentage at Jupiter was well above the .356 average in the high Class A Florida State League. He shows plus raw power to the pull side and has to get to it enough to profile as a regular. His pitch recognition and feel to hit trail behind his power. He's a solid average defender with solid average speed. The Marlins hope he's a late bloomer who takes off at Double-A Jacksonville.
Perez signed in 2008 but had a largely unremarkable pro career until 2014, when he led the organization's minor leaguers with 30 steals at low Class A. In 2015, he was second in the minors with 71 steals, just short of the record for a Marlins' farmhand (Quincey Foster, 73 in 1998 for high Class A Kane County). He got his first big league promotion in July, used as a pinch-runner. A shortstop when he signed, the Marlins have tried to exploit his one above-average tool--speed, for which he grades an 80 on the 20-80 scout scale--by expanding upon his versatility. Scouts say his speed makes him an asset in center field, and he can also play short, second and third base, with his solid-average arm serving well at those spots. He played center, short and second in the Arizona Fall League. He's an average defender who can outrun misreads in the outfield. At bat, Perez has little power impact, with an occasional double, but he uses his speed well. Perez has a good short game, with a quick, downward-slashing swing that he uses to lash singles around the field. He's also a good bunter. Perez profiles as a utility man or pinch-runner.
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