Miami Marlins draft prospect: Shane Baz

Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports /

In our last installment before the event, we’ll look at another Miami Marlins potential draft pick. A hard-throwing prep school righty out of Texas.

The Miami Marlins have one of the most unpredictable selections at no. 13 in this years draft. Everyone knows what position they’ll draft, but it’s a hotly contested debate beyond that point.

The team needs help at the MLB level soon. Does that mean they’ll draft a college arm, ready to make the jump in a couple of seasons? Will they bite the bullet and draft a stud high school arm with a lot of upside? Lefty? Righty? Best on the board?

In Baseball America’s latest mock draft, they have the Fish selecting Shane Baz.

Baz is a flame-throwing righty out of Texas. Remarkably developed for a high-school pitcher, Baz could ascend through a weaker system like the Marlins fairly quickly. With a bevy of pitches in his arsenal, he has the makings of a true ace of staff type pitcher.

The Texan has projected somewhere in the first round for some time now. Scouts love his ability to crank his fastball into the mid-90’s, or dial it back to the 90-92 mph range at will. Still a teenager, he’s likely to gain a few miles per hour on his fastball before hitting the big leagues.

But he isn’t just a power pitcher. His bag of pitches features four usable, and distinctly different off speed and breaking pitches. His curveball, slider, and change up all project to be plus pitches in the Major Leagues.

Baz is everything the Marlins are looking for in a prospect in this draft. They might be willing bide their time while he develops if they truly believe he can be the savior of the pitching rotation in the future.

Why the hesitation?

As with most high school pitchers, Baz does have a drawback. He struggles with his command. He often struggles to find the zone with regularity with his off speed pitches. Within the strike zone, he fails to locate his fastball.

Command is a common problem for young players to have, and is often easily remedied adjusting their mechanics. Issue’s with command won’t be way might ultimately sway the Marlins from selecting Baz at 13th overall. It’s his commitment to TCU.

Baz appears very excited to attend Texas Christian, and has indicated that being selected in the first round doesn’t mean he’ll sign. Miami needs to hit on its draft pick. If they select Baz, and he decides to go to school, it’s another year of wasted development for the franchise.

Whoever drafts Baz in the first round will need to be confident that they can get him to sign and pitch for the club. Otherwise it’s a wasted first overall pick.

Next: Miami Marlins draft prospect: Trevor Rogers

In terms of pure pitching prowess, Shane Baz is near the top of list in this years draft. However, questions over whether he will sign or attend school are a legitimate concern. If there is a safer selection the board, the Miami Marlins will go in that direction instead.