Miami Marlins draft spotlight: Denis Karas, 3rd base, 10th round

Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports /

Rounding out the second day of the draft, the Miami Marlins ended the afternoon by selecting a power hitting third baseman out of Cal.

The second day of the draft marked a balanced approach intended to restock the team across the board. After selecting mostly pitchers early in the second day, the Marlins ended the afternoon with three straight fielders.

In Karas, Miami drafted an experienced college player with upside. He possesses significant power, but will need to hit with more consistency in the professional ranks. Drafted out of Cal, he was the first player from the Golden Bears selected in the draft this year.

The 21-year old California native has high ceiling, but also a low floor. He will need to show significant gains before advancing through the minor leagues.

This is the second time that Karas has been drafted into the Major Leagues. Coming out of high school, Karas was selected in the 24th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He opted to attend college instead, and it proved to be a wise decision, improving his position by 14 rounds.

Karas dominated in his senior year of High School, being named league MVP. He failed to have that kind of reaching success in college. While his home run total (12) proved to be enough to pace the PAC-12 in that category, his batting average was poor — .243.

Too often Karas produced empty at bats. He went down on strikes in 27% of his official at bats, and drew only 19 walks. His OBP% suffered as a result — .312%.

Karas possesses the tools to be a solid defender, but would often chase strings of perfect performance on the field with multi-error games. Typically throwing errors. He finished with a .948 FLD%, playing in all 54 games for the Cal Golden Bears as a junior.

How Karas fits the mold

Historically, the Miami Marlins like to draft all-or-bust type prospects. Denis Karas fits that mold nicely. Throughout his PAC 12 career, Karas showed flashes of potential to indicate that he could become a star. If he does, the Marlins have a steal in the 10th round.

There is a lot of work to be done on his part to become a viable Major League option though. Coming out of college, his plate discipline will need to improve quickly. Pitchers will feature more plus-pitches than those in one of the more competitive college conferences.

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

Karas could develop into a Major League player. If he does, he figures to be a power-hitting third baseman. The 10th round seems high to have drafted Karas considering some of the other talent on the board at the time.

He is a player worthy of taking a gamble on, but is difficult to project several years into the future. How much he learns in his first few seasons as a professional will be crucial.