Miami Marlins draft spotlight: Gavin Fritz, 16th round

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Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images /
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With their selection in the 16th round the Miami Marlins selected a right-handed pitcher, making it two in a row.

With the way the Miami Marlins were snapping up pitchers, you would think there was some kind of deficit at the minor league league level. For the second selection in a row, Miami selected a prototype pitcher with upside.

Gavin Fritz is tall, hard-throwing righty who figures to work out of the pen as a pro. Standing at 6-foot-2, Fritz is a lean 195-pounds and could develop more power as he matures through the professional ranks. The name Burke Badenhop comes to mind.

Fritz struggled in his final year at Dallas Baptist University, but a dominant sophomore season has the Miami Marlins buying into untapped potential.

Fritz was eager to get his bonus out of the way and start working his way towards the Major Leagues. He signed on June 23rd, and has already started to appear in games for the Gulf Coast League Marlins. No surprise, he’s working out of the bullpen.

Fritz throws primarily two pitches; a fastball and a breaking ball. He mixes in a change up occasionally, but it isn’t an out pitch. His stuff is deceptive and hard enough to keep hitters off-balance one time through a lineup, but any more than that and they start to key in.

That’s evidence by his early transition while playing for Dallas Baptist. Fritz started five games for the Patriots his freshman season, but transitioned during the year, appearing in seven more games as a reliever.

As a full-time reliever in his sophomore year, Fritz shined. He managed a 2.19 ERA, while managing a 1.88 K/BB ratio. He regressed as a junior in nearly ever statistical category, but Miami appears to believe that was an aberration.

Already a pro

It didn’t take long to get Fritz into camp. After he signed his contract, he was on the field for the GCL Marlins within a week. He’s finding success, but not without it’s lumps.

Though Fritz’s career is as early as can be, it’s off to a good start. He’s thrown three innings in two appearances, and allowed only one hit. It was a home run, though. His control has been good, issuing no walks to this pint, and he’s managed to fan two of the 10 batters he’s faced.

Next: Miami Marlins draft spotlight: Brady Puckett, 15th round

Gavin Fritz might be a case of the Marlins drafted the best available of a type. If/when he makes a Major League appearance, it’s most likely as a sixth, or seventh inning guy. He is only 21 years old, and if he is able to replicate the success he had as a sophomore in college, the sky is the limit.

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