We have now entered the top three of the Marlin Maniac top 20 prospect list for the Miami Marlins. Of the first 17 prospects we took a look at, seven were acquired through trades. Three of those seven came in the blockbuster trade with the Toronto Blue Jays in November.
However, the top three on this list are all homegrown prospects for the Miami Marlins. This reflects a change in the fortune and strategy for the Marlins in their recent drafts.
Here is a quick recap of the top 20 prospects we have taken a look at so far:
- #20-Mason Hope, RHP
- #19- Zack Cox, 3B
- #18- Tom Koehler, RHP
- #17- Kolby Copeland, OF
- #16- Austin Barnes, INF-C
- #15- Alfredo Silverio, OF
- #14- Avery Romero, INF
- #13- Derek Dietrich, INF
- #12- Mason Hope, SP
- #11- Adam Conley, SP
- #10- Jake Realmuto, C
- #9- Jose Urena, SP
- #8- Rob Brantly, C
- #7- Adeiny Hechavarria, SS
- #6- Marcell Ozuna, OF
- #5- Jake Marisnick, OF
- #4- Justin Nicolino, SP
I am not going to lie, when the Marlins drafted the next prospect on our list, I was a tad bit underwhelmed with the pick. I thought the Marlins took the cheap way out, not wanting to overspend on the draft, instead taking a player with a higher ceiling. Although this would come as a surprise to no one, looking at the Marlins past and just the past calendar year.
I know feel like I was wrong about the pick. He has grown on me as a prospect and has made the list as my third best prospect on the Miami Marlins.
Feb 22, 2013; Jupiter, FL, USA; Miami Marlins player Andrew Heaney (82) poses for a picture during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Drafted: 2012 1st round pick
Birthdate: 6/5/1991 (21) Height: 6’1″ Weight: 155 lbs.
Andrew Heaney was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays out of high school in 2009 in the 24th round. Heaney decided to attend Oklahoma State rather than sign. The decision ended up benefiting Heaney, as he pitched three solid seasons at Oklahoma State and became a first round pick.
Initial reports stated that the Marlins and Heaney would not reach a contract before the deadline to sign picks and that talks had broken off. Luckily, just a couple of days later, both sides came to their senses, and Heaney signed for a $2.6 million signing bonus just before the signing deadline.
After he signed, the Marlins decided to send him their rookie-league affiliate in the Gulf Coast League for two starts. In those two starts, Heaney pitched seven innings and struck out nine hitters. With his strong debut, the Marlins decided to promote to their full-season Low-A affiliate in the Sally League.
In Low-A Greensboro, Heaney posted a 4.95 ERA in 20 innings. That high ERA did no justice for the dominance he exhibited. In his 20 innings, Andrew struck out 22 hitters and walked just four. He was also able to garner a good amount of ground-ball outs. Despite his high ERA, Heaney did quite well in his first minor league stint.
Andrew Heaney’s fastball sits between 90 and 95 MPH and can touch 97 at times. It is a pitch that he can throw for a strike at any time. Heaney also features a curveball and a changeup which are both expected to be at least average or better. He still struggles a bit with his command on his changeup, but that should be something that improves as he pitches more innings.
Overall, Heaney profiles as a strike-thrower who is able to use all of his pitches to keep hitters off balance. Heaney should have three solid weapons and the ceiling of a No. 2 or 3 starter.
This is what prospect guru John Sickels had to say about Andrew Heaney:
"5) Andrew Heaney, LHP, Grade B: Strike-throwing first round pick out of Oklahoma State has good heat from a skinny frame, projects as a number three starter who could move fast."
We mentioned yesterday that Justin Nicolino has the most polish of any Marlins pitcher in their farm, well, Heanley has the highest floor for any Marlins pitching prospect. Heaney is also closer to pitching in the majors than Nicolino. He is expected to start the season in High-A Jupiter and there is a good chance that Heaney could end the season in Double-A.He should be in the Marlins rotation by 2014, but some scouts have said not to rule out a possibility of Heaney reaching Miami sometime this season. Quite impressive for a kid drafted in 2012.