Miami Marlins draft selection suspended for drug violation
The Miami Marlins got some bad news on Friday. One of their 2017 MLB Draft selections was busted for a drug violation.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that it wasn’t a PED violation. On Friday, ESPN reported that ninth round selection Cameron Baranek was suspended after testing positive for a stimulant. He was levied a 50-game suspension for the violation.
Baranek will serve his suspension immediately, effectively ending his first year of professional baseball. In his first taste of paid baseball, he was struggling to make the adjustment. Expect Baranek to open the 2018 year in the Gulf Coast League again.
The subject of one of our earlier MLB Draft spotlights, Baranek possesses a lot of upside to be realized.
The Hope University outfielder possesses all the tools you could hope for in a late-round, second day draftee. What he lacks in the polished tools, he makes up for in raw ability. He finished near the top in a number of offensive categories in the NAIA.
Baranek was the first legitimate star at HIU, and is their highest ever draft pick. With no clear-cut dominant tool, he is a solid player all the way around. The Miami Marlins view him as a player with a relatively low-ceiling, but a high floor.
His throwing arm out of the outfield is his biggest asset. The ball comes out of his hand like a laser-beam, though occasionally lacks accuracy. If he is able to fine tune his ball placement, there is no reason he can’t stay in centerfield throughout his professional career.
The suspension marks an obvious setback, though. Baranek wasn’t lighting the world on fire in rookie ball, hitting just .234/.306/.351, managing one home run and 22 RBI’s. He needed everyone of those 50-games he’s been suspended for.
Baranek’s future with the Miami Marlins
For all the talk that the Miami Marlins have a weak farm system, they are surprisingly deep in the outfield. As a ninth round selection, Baranek fails to crack the teams top 30 prospects. Meanwhile, 11 of the Miami Marlins top 30 prospects patrol the green grass beyond the infield.
If Baranek were to suddenly start crushing the ball, stealing bases like a madman, and playing stellar defense, he’d likely be traded. With three players installed for the foreseeable future in the MLB, and several projectable prospects ahead of him, an appearance as a Marlin isn’t likely.
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On the whole, the suspension means very little for Baranek’s future. He sidesteps the stigma involved with a PED suspension. A slap on the wrist, expect him back and ready to go in 2018.