MLB Draft: Top 3 Candidates for the Marlins to Draft

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Jun 16, 2013; Omaha, NE, USA; NC State Wolfpack pitcher Carlos Rodon (16) during their College World Series game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Dave Weaver-USA Today Sports

2. Carlos Rodon, LHP

Age and School: 21, North Carolina State University
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 234 lbs.
Position: Starting pitcher

Jose Fernandez, Carlos Rodon, Andrew Heaney, Nathan Eovaldi, and Henderson Alvarez/Justin Nicolino.

That could be the look of the Miami Marlins rotation come late 2015.

With Fernandez and Rodon at the top of the rotation, not only would the Marlins have one of the best duos in baseball, they’d also have a great marketing ploy for the city of Miami. The Marlins could market the hell out of the two Cuban’s and bring baseball interest in Miami to an all-time high.

Projected to be a lock to be the number 1 pick in the draft just a few months ago, Rodon’s stock had nowhere to go but down. With sky high expectations, Rodon “only” struck 10.7 batters per nine innings, and finished his final season with an ERA of only 2.01. If these numbers were reflected upon any other starter in this draft, they’d be drawing praise from each scout.

A major concern for teams on Rodon would be his usage during the college season. Many times he was kept in a game with pitch counts reaching 120 and 130. With the team losing Jose Fernandez recently to Tommy John surgery and all their struggles to keep Josh Johnson healthy, this is going to be a sticking point for the Marlins when they are on the clock and Rodon is still there.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman suggests that Rodon could even make an impact on the Marlins major league roster by the second half of this season:

"2. Miami Marlins: They are said to love San Diego high school hitting star Alex Jackson, but the temptation to take Rodon, a Cuban star from Miami who can pair with Jose Fernandez and might even help in the second half would seem to be too great. Possesses a tough cutter (one scout likened him to Al Leiter) and “disappearing” slider. Word is, Rodon isn’t thinking about a discount, so the negotiation between Scott Boras, who’s advising Rodon, and the cost-conscious Marlins, would be interesting. The pick: Carlos Rodon, LHP, NC State"

While I don’t believe this is too likely, it illustrates just how close to big league ready Rodon is. He could realistically be making an impact on the Marlins rotation as early as 2015.

There are obviously injury risks associated with Rodon, or any other pitching prospect, but the potential with Rodon is too high to pass on. The Marlins could be in an interesting predicament if Rodon is not snagged up by the Astros with the number 1 pick.