What Do the Miami Marlins Have in Brett Lilek?

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 25: A detailed view of Marlins Park during the game between the Miami Marlins and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Marlins Park on June 25, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JUNE 25: A detailed view of Marlins Park during the game between the Miami Marlins and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Marlins Park on June 25, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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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 147 of 286. For the first 100, click here.

Brett Tyler Lilek is a 6’4″, 220 lb. left-handed pitcher from South Holland, Illinois. Former major leaguer Mark Mulder also hailed from South Holland. Born on August 10th, 1993, Lilek was initially drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 37th round of the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft out of Marian Catholic HS. Instead of jumping right in, Lilek elected instead to play some college ball with Arizona State. Follow him on Twitter @BrettLilek.

In three seasons of Division I play with the Sun Devils, Lilek totaled a 10-8 record, a 3.05 ERA, and a better than average 1.22 WHIP. He had some problems with control, walking 88 in 182 2/3 innings for a 4.34 BB/9, but he also caught attention with 162 whiffs, a K/9 rate of 7.98. The Miami Marlins chose him in the second round of the draft in 2015.

Chosen with the 50th overall selection, Lilek joins a group that includes 45 percent major leaguers. Previously selected at the position are Dennis Eckersley (1972, Cleveland Indians, 62.4 career WAR), Al Leiter (1984, New York Yankees, 40.1 WAR), Brian Roberts (1999, Baltimore Orioles, 30.4 WAR), Adam Dunn (1998, Cincinnati Reds, 17.4 WAR), Bo Jackson (1982, Yankees, 8.3 WAR), and our own Monte Harrison (2014, Milwaukee Brewers).

Here’s Lilek at Arizona State, courtesy of FanGraphs.

After Lilek’s selection, he signed with the Miami Marlins for a $1,000,000 bonus. Ranked as the Baseball America Marlins number 20 prospect, he made his professional debut with the 2015 Batavia Muckdogs in the short-season-A New York-Penn League. In 35 innings of work, he struck out 43 and walked only seven, going 1-2 with a 3.34 ERA. Lilek completed the season with a WHIP of 1.057, and started the 2016 season one level up.

As a Greensboro Grasshopper, Miami’s single-A South Atlantic League affiliate at the time, Lilek got into seven games, including five starts. In 16 innings of work, he walked as many batters and struck out 13, posting a 5.06 ERA and a garish 2.188 WHIP. On June 12th, 2016, he went on the disabled list due to biceps tendinitis and arm fatigue. He did not get back into a professional game until July 23rd, 2018.

More from Marlins Prospects

When healthy, Lilek is reliant on a fastball that ranges from 90 to 94 MPH, along with a changeup and a slider.

After returning, Lilek got into five games for the GCL Marlins, a rookie-level club in the Florida-based Gulf Coast League. He played in five games, going one inning each. Lilek was perfect in two of those appearances and kept the opposition scoreless in four of them. He ended up allowing one run on five hits and a walk, striking out two and hitting a batter.

The Marlins seem to like Lilek’s physicality, and there’s always room for a lefty reliever. Expect Lilek to resume rising through the Miami Marlins system, beginning in 2019 with the Jupiter Hammerheads.

Next. Austin Dean's 2018 Review. dark

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