MLB day one draft grades for the Miami Marlins

Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

The first night of the MLB Draft was a wild ride. With three selections in the first two rounds, how did the Marlins do with their picks?

The Miami Marlins needed to hit big time with their selections in this years draft. Their farm system is fairly depleted, and they need all of their targets to become MLB players. With their first three selections, they’re off to a good start.

The Marlins held the 13th, 36th, and 51st overall picks in this draft. That meant they were going to get a chance to load up on some of the best talent in the draft. With three picks on the first day of the draft, anyone of these players could develop into a superstar.

Let’s take a look at how the Marlins did this year.

No. 13 overall, LHP Trevor Rogers, Carlsbad, New Mexico

This was a surprise pick, but an excellent one. Rogers has everything a scout looks for in the makings of a future Major League ace of staff. We took a look at him a few days ago ahead of the draft as a potential target. Turns out we were right.

Rogers is a great selection here, and the Fish are lucky to have gotten him. There was a run on position players selected ahead of them. That meant Rogers slipped out of the top 10 and to the Marlins at no. 13.

Rogers possesses a fire-breathing dragon for a pitching arm. With a fairly effortless delivery, he manages to run the ball up into the mid-90’s. Standing at 6 foot 6 inches, scouts expect his body to fill out. He might add a few more ticks on the radar gun once that happens.

Rogers is considered a raw prospect, though. He needs to develop his secondary pitches before he is ready to make the jump. At lower levels of baseball, he hasn’t had to use them because of how dynamic his fastball is.

His breaking ball has the potential to be a plus pitch considering his height and arm angle. He has a change up that will likely become an effective third pitch; it projects to be Major League average.

With an effortless, low-impact delivery, Rogers should be able to remain pretty much injury free. He isn’t putting a lot of stress on his arm, and he instantly becomes the top prospect in the Marlins farm system. A very good pick here.

Grade: B+

No. 36 overall, Brian Miller, OF, University of North Carolina

It’s hard not to root for this guy. He went undrafted out of high school, and was recruited by only a few colleges around the country. He eventually made his way to UNC as a walk-on player. On Monday, the Miami Marlins made him the 36th overall selection the MLB Draft.

What that tells me is that he is an insanely hard worker. Determined, and dead set on playing baseball for his professional career. Those are good qualities for a player to have, and they give Miller a huge bump.

With that said, he doesn’t project to be a franchise altering center fielder. He should develop into a productive piece eventually though. Possessing prodigious speed, he looks for contact and a high OBP. His power numbers are dismal with only one home run in his last 92 games.

That’s what has a lot of scouts balking at his prospects at the pro level. Even Juan Pierre put one over the fence occasionally.

Miller figures to be an excellent leadoff hitter. He shows good range in center field and has an accurate, if below-average arm. Scouts liken his game to Brett Gardner or Denard Span.

He could be a future piece for the franchise to build around. He might become trade bait. It’s hard to make out exactly what the team was thinking when they drafted Miller here. Clearly they see something they like in him.

Never count out someone who has been told they aren’t good enough, then proved they are. For Miller, he turned an open tryout at UNC into a first round selection in professional baseball. That’s a testament to work ethic, more than anything else. People who work hard tend to find success.

Grade: C+

No. 51 overall, Joe Dunand, 3B, NC State

I’ll get it out of the way: he’s Alex Roderiguez’s nephew. As soon as he was drafted, that was everybody’s “hot take”, or rather “hot tidbit” on Dunand. With that said, this is a great pick for the Miami Marlins. Possibly their best of the night.

In Dunand, they get a slick fielder with the ability to hit some monster home runs. He’ll need to work on his plate discipline before he is ready to appear in the Major Leagues. In time, and with proper coaching, that is a comparatively easy problem to solve in a prospect.

Dunand is capable of playing either shortstop or third base at the Major League. He’s quick to the ball, he fields capably, and fires the ball with a Major League quality arm. There’s nothing he can’t do in the field.

At the plate, he’s a nightmare for pitchers. He blasted 18 home runs as a junior at NC State this season, but needs to get better at recognizing balls and strikes. He whiffed over 40 times, and drew only 19 walks.

Breaking balls are going to get better in the MiLB, and pitchers have the ability to key in on any weakness a hitter gives them. Again, this will be corrected over time. He is fairly close to being ready for the Major Leagues otherwise.

This is a player the Miami Marlins can build around if he lives up to his potential. At this juncture, there is no reason to believe he won’t. The Fish might have landed a potential franchise player and cornerstone on the infield for years to come with Dunand.

Grade: A


The Miami Marlins had a very good first day of the draft. Question marks exist, but that is unavoidable in the MLB Draft. It’s an educated guessing game.

With the additions of Rogers, Miller, and Dunand, the Fish have set themselves up nicely for a successful draft. They’ll need to continue to pad their roster with quality prospects. Value still abounds in rounds 3-10.

What I like most about who the Marlins selected was how easy it will be to sign them. All three of these players are ready to make the jump to professional baseball. Their only prep school product, Trevor Rogers, was present at the draft. He shook hands with Rob Manfred wearing a Marlins jersey and said this was a dream come true for him.

Their other two selections are college ball players looking to take the next logical step. The Miami Marlins did an excellent job selecting individual players, and as a whole.

Next: Fish n' grits: Miami Marlins morning news

A lot of time remains in the draft, but the Fish are off to a very good start with carefully considered selections.

Overall Grade: B+