The first 10 rounds of the 2018 MLB Draft would see the Miami Marlins concentrate on raw athleticism. Four of their first five picks were right out of high school.
Derek Jeter went on to explain that the Miami Marlins didn’t have a specific prep strategy going into the draft. He instead stated that they were set on selecting the best player available. It’s a method the Marlins continued to use throughout the draft, including their 11th round selection.
11th Round – Davis Bradshaw, center field
Davis Bradshaw is a 6’3″, 175 lb. center fielder from Florence, Mississippi. His highest ranked tool is his plus-speed, which grades out at 55. Born on April 25th, 1998, he was originally drafted in the 35th round of the 2017 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. This is after batting an unfathomable .756 as a senior at McLaurin High School, with a .797 on-base percentage. Bradshaw bats lefty but throws righty.
Of course, Bradshaw didn’t sign with the Crew, instead opting to play college ball with Meridian Community College.
"I love the campus, and I definitely love the field. I talked to Coach Sudduth and Coach Brewer a good bit while I was at the State Games, and I just fell in love with the both of them. – Bradshaw, to meridianstar.com"
While at Meridian, Bradshaw slashed .442/.523/.718, going 80-for-181 in 52 games. He clubbed eight home runs with 49 RBI, drawing 29 walks and striking out 23 times. He also stole 22 bases in 27 attempts, a success rate of 81.5%.
Two other Meridian players were also chosen on day three of the draft. Teammate Sam McWilliams, also an outfielder, was eventually chosen in the 19th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Milton Smith Jr., a lefty who also projects as a center fielder, was the Miami Marlins 22nd round choice.
Major League Equivalence
Historically speaking, there have been 54 players drafted with the 327th overall pick, and only seven of them ever made the major leagues. Righty reliever Rod Beck (1986) eventually saved 286 games between the San Francisco Giants, the Chicago Cubs, the Boston Red Sox, and the San Diego Padres, with an 11.4 career WAR. Just behind him at 11.3, Jeff Brantley (1984) notched 172 career saves over 14 seasons between the Giants, the Cincinnati Reds, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Texas Rangers. Also chosen with the 327th pick were Christian Colon (2007) and Chris O’Grady (2012).
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Meridian CC was also the proving ground of left-hander Cliff Lee, who was drafted in the eighth round of the 1997 draft by the Miami Marlins. He was later chosen by the Baltimore Orioles in 1998 and the Montreal Expos in 2000. Lee posted a 143-91 record in 13 seasons at the major league level, with a 3.52 career ERA. More recently, the Pittsburgh Pirates Corey Dickerson also attended the Junior College. In total, 45 players have been chosen out of the College over the past 30 years.
Bradshaw has confirmed that he will start with the GCL Marlins when they begin play on Monday, June 18th. How will his combination of speed and power translate to the professional game? Only time will tell, but it’s pretty exciting to see what Bradshaw can do.
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