With the fourth overall choice in the 2019 MLB Entry Draft, the Miami Marlins took J.J. Bleday out of Vanderbilt.
J.J. Bleday is a 6’3″, 205 lb. lefty-hitting and throwing outfielder from Pennsylvania, and the NCAA’s leading home run hitter in 2019. The Miami Marlins have traditionally chosen prep players with their early picks – but not this time. Bleday has clobbered 26 homers this season after totaling only six in his first two collegiate seasons.
J.J. Bleday was decent prior to attending Vanderbilt, garnering a 39th round choice of the San Diego Padres in 2016. In his first season, he hit .256 in 51 games. As a sophomore, he pushed his average waaaay up – to .368 in 39 contests. Like I said, though, he totaled only six round-trippers over those two seasons.
In 2019, Bleday seemed to find his power stroke – and not “just barely” either. His 26 home runs lead the collegiate ranks, and he’s not exactly embarrassing himself with a .354/.468/.747 slash line – with 51 strikeouts and 50 walks to his credit over 61 games.
"I think as you get more mature in the box, more comfortable, you’re better able to hone your approach and get a little bit stronger. – Bleday, per MLB.COM"
Bleday’s bat-skills are already well-honed – he could be ready for the Miami Marlins major league organization as soon as next season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make a debut soon with the double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in the Southern League.
Not a speed-threat on the base paths, Bleday is well-suited to a corner outfield spot with the Miami Marlins. As a lefty, he will represent continued difficulty to opposing managers making adjustments, especially with his advanced power stroke.
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