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 45 of 286. Stay tuned.
Zach Robert Wolf (follow him @zachwolf9), is a 5’8″, 175 lb. right-handed pitcher from Dana Hills, CA, home also of major leaguers Seth Eherton and Tanner Scheppers. Born on November 15th, 1997, he was the Miami Marlins 18th round pick of the 2018 draft, 537th overall off the boards out of Seattle University the alma mater of former major leaguers Eddie O’Brien and his brother, Johnny O’Brien, both mostly of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Players chosen with the 537th pick off the board have a 14 percent success rate at reaching the major leagues someday, but none of them have reached a WAR of 1.0. The most accomplished from amongst them is Mark Johnson (1990, Pirates, 0.5 career WAR), who collected 38 career home runs.
In college, Wolf posted a 4-9 record wtih a 3.95 ERA over 79 appearances, including three starts. He struck out 122 over 124 innings, and logged a 1.31 WHIP. As a freshman in 2016, he was named to the Western Athletic Conference All-Conference team as a reliever.
Wolf signed with the Miami Marlins on June 20th for a $120,000 bonus, then reported to the Batavia Muckdogs on July 2nd. He played in 13 games for the short-season-A New York-Penn League team, posting a 1-1 record with five saves in six opportunities. He gave up 10 hits and five walks over 15 innings for an even 1.000 WHIP, while striking out 21. Over his last seven games, he struck out 10 and allowed two hits in nine innings. That provided the Miami Marlins front office the impetus for a promotion to the single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League.
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Wolf appeared in six games in Greensboro, going 1-0 and not allowing a run in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out 10 and allowed just three hits and four walks. Over his two stops in the Miami Marlins system, he allowed opposing batters to hit .165/.258/.228 over 90 plate appearances. His best game of the season was likely on August 24th, when he struck out three in one scoreless inning of work in an 8-3 loss to the Delmarva Shorebirds.
Wolf’s sky-high 12.28 K/9 rate and his 1.02 combined WHIP suggest continued success at higher levels. He should start next season in the single-A Midwest League, with the Clinton LumberJacks, although he may be assigned to the high-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League before too long. His long-term status looks pretty good, despite his not being a “ranked” prospect. Continued progress through the minor leagues could see Wolf join the Miami Marlins as soon as 2020, but probably more likely in 2021.
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