Miami Marlins draft spotlight: Cameron Baranek, OF, 9th round

Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

This draft was deep in outfielders, which allowed a player like Cameron Baranek to slip to the ninth round. In time, the Marlins might prove to have gotten the bargain of the second day.

The Miami Marlins did well to put together a balanced board through the second day of the MLB Draft. Continuing our series profiles of each their selections, we roll into the ninth round. With the 269th overall pick, the Miami Marlins selected Cameron Baranek, an outfielder out of Hope International University.

Both on tape and on the stat-sheet, Baranek impresses. The relatively young baseball program at HIU might have contributed to his falling on the draft board, but he’ll get his opportunity regardless. Baranek officially signed with the Marlins and has joined the organization.

With potential at the plate, a strong throwing arm, and dependability in the field, Baranek provides a strong foundation to build on.

That will be the key. Just like the Marlins previous selection Jared Barnes,  Baranek is solid all the way around, but possess no clear-cut dominant phase. If forced to pick one, it would be his arm in the outfield. It lacks accuracy on occasion, but his transfer from glove-to-hand is quick, and the ball comes out smoking hot.

His numbers are incredible. Not only was he far and away the most productive player at Hope International, he was among the best in the NAIA.

Small school slide

Baranek leaves HIU with a number of single-season records set during his final year in college. The junior set records for most home runs (14), most total bases (133), slugging percentage (.672), runs scored (58), hits (72), triples (3), and stolen bases (20).

He also led the outfield unit with a .993 fielding %, and his 129 put outs are the most for any outfielder in school history.

If ever there were concerns that his numbers were inflated by playing lesser competition in the NAIA, his tape should put them to rest.

There might have been hesitation on the part of some ball clubs to take Baranek earlier in the draft. Had he put up similar numbers in the ACC, he likely would have skyrocketed up the charts. But Hope International isn’t known as a hub for Major League talent.

In fact, Baranek is HIU’s first ever selection in the Major League draft. The program has only been in existence for two years. That might have led to Baranek not getting a lot of attention from scouts.

He certainly did as much as he could against the competition he faced. Baranek earned both All-Conference honors, and was named an NAIA All-American.

Next: Miami Marlins draft spotlight: Jared Barnes, Catcher, 8th round

The Miami Marlins might have gotten the steal of the second day in this years MLB Draft. Kyle Baranek is an outfielder who is capable of doing everything well.

With Major League caliber-skills, and now Major League coaching, Baranek has the potential to make it all the way to the highest level. It will be interesting to see how he fares against the elevated competition. The jump from NAIA to the professional ranks is a steep one.