Miami Marlins draft spotlight: Tyler Curtis, 23rd round

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Continuing our look at the Miami Marlins 2017 MLB Draft, we come to their 23rd round selection. Tyler Curtis is a corner infielder with local ties.

The Miami Marlins entered the draft knowing they needed to stock up on pitching. In the later rounds, they took a “best on the board” approach. With their selection in the 23rd round, the best on the board was Lynn University infielder Tyler Curtis.

Curtis put up huge numbers in his senior season. Once considered to have an outside chance at being drafted, his .433/.518/.733 slash line caught the attention of local scouts. Impressive speed and power boosted his value significantly as well.

The Miami Marlins made a lifelong dream come true for Tyler Curtis.

The Miami Marlins organization sent Curtis directly to short season Batavia. He struggled to adjust to the competition in his first professional season. He put up gaudy numbers in college, but ultimately it was his raw abilities that led to his selection.

With pitchers changing speeds, hiding the ball, and locating their pitches more effectively, Curtis’ numbers took a predictable dip. He hit .249/.313/.349 in his first season, playing mostly at third base. Going 7-8 in steal attempts in college, he was 0-2 in attempts at Batavia.

His strikeout numbers were high, his walk rate was low, and his power numbers didn’t do enough to account for the discrepancy between the two. He struck out 20.1-percent of the time, walked only 5.7-percent of the time, and hit only two home runs.

His numbers are indicative of a player trying to acclimate to a higher level of play. Clearly possessing the physical tools to succeed, expect him to take a step forward in year two.

Curtis moving forward

He’ll likely see time at Batavia again, with the organization keen to promote him during the season.

“I always wanted to get drafted and I worked my (butt) off to get here, but it’s a big dream you don’t seriously think is attainable,” Curtis told the Poughkeepsie Journal after being drafted. Now that his opportunity has arrived, he’ll do everything in his power to make good on it.

Tyler Curtis provided a low-risk, high-reward type player for the Miami Marlins. It’s unclear how much power potential he has as he matures through professional baseball, but he’s a very capable contact hitter. A move to second base could be in the works moving forward.

Considering his fielding woes in year one, a similar performance would all but demand it.

Next: Miami Marlins draft spotlight: J.D. Osborne, 22nd round

Tyler Curtis performed as expected in his first year of professional baseball. Nobody has expectations of a 23rd round selection hitting .320 and stealing 30 bases. He’ll have to make obvious improvements in his second year of pro ball.

All in all, his debut season was a solid, if unspectacular one.

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