Miami Marlins draft spotlight: Colton Hock, RHP, Stanford
With the selection of their second pitcher in the draft, the Miami Marlins took a college arm from Stanford.
The Miami Marlins needed help in their starting rotation going into this draft. They addressed that issue with their first overall pick, but then drafted hitters and fielders with their next three selections. The fourth round marked a return to pitching.
Colton Hock is a right-hander out of Stanford. Pitching for the Cardinal, Hock worked mostly out of the bullpen in 2016. He made several appearances as a rotation starter while pitching in the Cape Cod league. It will be up to the Marlins to decide where best to use him as a professional.
Hock likely projects to come out of the pen unless the Marlins pitching coach can work some magic with his delivery.
While pitching out of the bullpen at Stanford, Hock was untouchable. His status as a late-inning, high intensity pitcher is a result of his effectiveness there, not his ineffectiveness as a starter.
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Hock possess the ability to run the ball up to 97 mph if he needs to, but usually works in the low 90’s. His curveball is his best pitch, according to a scouting report on MLB.com, and they rate it 55 out of 80.
He also has a change up that could develop into a league average pitch in time. He possess a cut-fastball, but it is in its infancy in his repertoire. It has been largely disregarded by scouts to this point.
Many feel that Hock could be a workhorse rotation starter if he were able to refine his delivery. There is significant amounts of effort his motion toward the plate, and that causes erratic command and decreased velocity as his innings rack up.
How he fits the mold
The Miami Marlins like to draft big, powerful pitchers in the draft. They got that with Hock. He stands an imposing 6 foot 4 inches tall, and tips the scale at 220 pounds.
It’s unclear what the Fish want to do with him at this point, though. They’ll likely wait until they can get him into the facility and work with him a bit. Moving him into the rotation would delay his arrival in the Major Leagues, but would make him a more valuable asset.
Hock has the makeup to get to the Major Leagues eventually. He was originally projected to go in the first round before a slow but a steady slide lead to the Marlins grabbing him in the fourth. They might have gotten a steal in the fourth round if Hock lives up to his potential.
Next: Miami Marlins draft spotlight: Riley Mahan, 2B, Kentucky
The Miami Marlins drafted a big, right-handed pitcher from a program that is known to crank out quality arms. In time, they should see dividends from this selection. Hock has the potential to work out of the pen or in the rotation, though likely becomes a backend bullpen guy at the MLB level.