The Miami Marlins have been unable to nail down a franchise first baseman for a long time. Today, they hope to have changed that with the selection of Josh Naylor with the 12th overall pick in the 2015 first year player draft.
Naylor comes as a bit of a surprise this high in the draft, as MLB.com had him rated as the 59th best available player in the draft.
Standing at 6’1, 225 pounds, the Ontario native possesses tremendous power. Naylor has been the only first baseman selected amidst the shortstop bonanza, with four of the first ten picks being shortstops.
This pick looks like a reach on the surface, but the Marlins love players who have a stand out tool. They appear to be taking a risk on the raw high school product, and betting on his ability to develop as a major league power hitter.
Hey, it worked with a certain Giancarlo Stanton in right field, and this Marlins lineup could certainly use some more power.
Outside of Stanton, the rest of the Marlins have combined for just 24 home runs on the season.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! sports offered some insight as to what could have motivated the Marlins’ selection.
Here’s the thing about the Josh Naylor pick: If the Marlins can grab a talented player later in the draft by paying over slot, makes sense.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 9, 2015
Of course, this wouldn’t be an article about the Marlins if money had nothing to do with it, but it would make sense if they could save a little on the signing bonus and pool it later in the draft. Every team has a draft budget, the Marlins are no different.
The lefty Naylor represents another first round high school pick for the Marlins. The fish used the number 2 pick last year on Tyler Kolek. For a team looking to contend immediately and in the near future, the continued selection of high school development projects doesn’t make a lot of sense.
As a first impression, I’m not impressed with the pick, and I’m tired of waiting for high schoolers to pan out. However, if he does develop quicker than expected, the Marlins will always have room for another big bat.
The next pick the Marlins hold is number 50, and they will likely look to bolster their minor league pitching depth, which was depleted during the offseason in a series of trades.
Earlier today, author Dillon Murrell did an article on the choices the Miami Marlins had in this draft. The team didn’t listen to any of his suggestions.
Stay tuned to Marlin Maniac for all of your 2015 Draft coverage, as more in depth analysis of the Marlins’ draft selections is soon to come.