Miami Marlins need Tyler Kolek to emerge
By Mark Laming
It’s draft day, the Miami Marlins are on the clock with the choice of two young pitchers, high school fireballer Tyler Kolek, or NC State product Carlos Rodon. The Marlins chose Kolek, the more expensive, interesting, and risky pick passing on the sure fire Rodon.
Unfortunately for the Marlins, Kolek and Rodon went in opposite directions. Rodon was fast-tracked to the majors making his debut in 2015, while Kolek labored through a season full of struggles in Single-A Greensboro. With disappearing velocity and lack of developed secondary pitches, 2015 was about as bad as it could get Kolek.
His famous three digit heat was no longer existent, throwing low to mid 90s fastballs. His disappearing velocity was the biggest mystery in his 2015 season, how could someone known for throwing triple digits not be able to light up the radar gun? Maybe it was his strong focus on developing off-speed and secondary pitches to make him a more diverse pitcher. While he did see better development on his secondary stuff, his spectacular velocity was lost.
But, not all is negative for Kolek. His fastball has developed some sinking action and he produced a solid number of groundball outs over 2015 outings. He showed that there was more to his fastball than just pure velocity and showed he could use location to sit down hitters.
The one thing Kolek needs improvement on is his command. He has had trouble with control and consistency since being drafted a needs better command and control when on the mound.
While things haven’t been the greatest early, Kolek has showed a few encouraging signs. Even though he’s a few years away from the majors, he still has time to develop.