Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 29…of 286. Stay tuned.
Brady B. Puckett is a 6’8″, 220 lb. right-handed starting pitcher from Murfreesboro, TN. Born on July 31st, 1995, he was originally selected in the 33rd round of the 2014 amateur draft by the New York Mets. Instead of signing, he elected to spend three seasons in division I ball, with Lipscomb University. Over 45 appearances, including 41 starts, he put up a 24-11 record with a 3.78 ERA, with 216 whiffs in 287 1/3 innings. In 2016, he was named to the Atlantic Sun All-Cneference Team, and was later honored as the Conference Pitcher of the Year. The Miami Marlins chose him in the 15th round of the 2017 draft, 449th off the board. You can follow him on Twitter @PuckettList.
If Puckett makes it as far as the majors, he will be the sixth member of the “449 club” to get that far. Nate Robertson (1998, Chicago White Sox, 4.2 career WAR) and Carlos Torres (2004, White Sox, 3.9 WAR) lead the pack.
Puckett’s great height helps his fastball, clocked from 90-93 MPH, come at hitters from a downward angle. Although he didn’t have a great secondary pitch when he came out of college, he has since developed a decent swing-and-miss changeup.
After his selection, Puckett joined the rookie-level Gulf Coast League with the GCL Marlins on July 3rd. In 12 games for them, including five starts, Puckett went 4-1 with a 2.85 ERA. He struck out 32 batters in 47 1/3 innings, and held opposing batters to a 1.289 WHIP. In his last start of the season, a 4-2 win over the GCL Mets, Puckett struck out five over five scoreless innings. That performance was enough for him to get a very short one game look with the short-season-A New York-Penn League Batavia Muckdogs near the end of the season. He pitched two innings, struck out three, and allowed one run.
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This season, Puckett was assigned to the single-A South Atlantic League’s Greensboro Grasshoppers. Over eight starts, he went 1-3 with a 1.99 ERA with 48 K’s in 49 2/3 innings. That was enough to see him join the high-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League. He made 11 starts for the Sharks, and posted a sparkling 7-1 record with a 2.33 ERA in 69 2/3 innings. Although he only struck out 42 over that time, he only walked 13 and turned in a 1.18 WHIP. On August 8th, Puckett went seven innings into a 4-0 win over the St. Lucie Mets, striking out two but allowing just one walk and three singles.
Puckett is not listed on anyone’s “prospect to watch” list, but that hasn’t stopped him from a steady rise through the Miami Marlins minor league system. Going by his professional performance thus far, he should start next season with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, in the double-A Southern League. That would mean he could make a challenge for a major-league roster spot during 2020 Spring Training.
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