Every year in June, the Marlins and the other 29 teams mine for gold in the annual MLB Amateur Entry Draft.
The Marlins have now selected 28 picks with their 35th round selection, but none of them have ever made it to the major leagues. We’ve already taken a look at the 36th, 37th, 38th, 39th, and 40th rounds. Here’s what they got in the 35th.
Taylor Ard was the Florida Marlins 35th round pick back in 2010. A six-foot-two first baseman, he instead decided to attend Washington State University, where he hit .335/.410/.577 with 22 homers and 105 RBI over 109 contests.
The Boston Red Sox tried to convince him to sign with the 25th round pick in 2011, but he didn’t until 2012, after the Seattle Mariners took him in the seventh round. He played two seasons in Seattle’s system, then played 2014 in the Arizona Diamondbacks farm.
In 2015, Ard belted 30 homers in only 96 games for the River City Rascals in the independent Frontier League, with a .313/.385/.646 line. The Marlins acquired him for the 2016 campaign through free agency.
In 130 games for the Jupiter Hammerheads in the High-A Florida State League that season, Ard hit .235/.303/.373 with 14 home runs and 73 RBI. Promoted to the Double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp the following year, he hit .215/.291/.370 in 124 games, with a dozen long balls and 49 RBI.
The Marlins granted Ard free agency prior to the 2018 season, and he signed with the Long Island Ducks in the Atlantic League.
Johnny Omahen was a six-foot right-handed pitcher from La Mesa, CA, and Florida’s 35th round pick in 2011. He pitched to a 4-1 record with a 1.94 ERA after the draft, striking out 29 in 41 2/3 innings between the Rookie-level GCL Marlins in the Gulf Coast League and the Hammerheads.
In 2012, Omahen went 1-5 with a 5.24 ERA in 36 relief appearances for the Single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League. The Marlins released him prior to the 2013 season.
Omahen spent 2013 with the Traverse City Beach Buns, in the Frontier League, going 8-9 with a 3.37 ERA as a starter, along with a 1.25 WHIP. He then joined the Arizona Diamondbacks system for the following three seasons, peaking with the Triple-A Fresno Aces in 2016.
Outfielder Chad Christensen was selected in the 35th round back in 2012 by the Marlins, but instead played that year for the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers, hitting .364/.436.453 in 59 contests. The Minnesota Twins took him in the 25th round the following season.
Christensen spent four seasons in the Twins system, playing in 330 minor league games and slashing .254/.321/.359 with 16 home runs and 140 RBI.
Six-foot-four right-handed pitcher Cole Stapler was taken out of Dutchtown High School in the 35th round by Miami in 2013, 1,042nd overall. After deigning to sign, he played four seasons of Division I ball for the Nicholls State University Colonels, for whom he went 15-14 with a 3.52 ERA and 172 K’s in 239 2/3 innings.
The Arizona Diamondbacks took Stapler in the 2017 draft, in the 22nd round. He’s since worked his way from their rookie level up to the Double-A Jackson Generals in the Southern League. In 11 games for them in 2019, including seven starts, he was 4-0 with a 2.57 ERA and a solid 1.12 WHIP, even more impressive for being in a hitters league.
Keith Zuniga is a six-foot right-handed pitcher from Nogales, AZ. The Marlins took him in the 35th round in 2014 out of Pima Community College in Tuscon, AZ. Instead, Zuniga joined the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats for two more seasons of collegiate ball. He never appeared professionally, ending his college career with a 27-18 record and a 2.64 ERA.
Cameron Newell is a lefty outfielder from Roseburg, OR. In three seasons with UC-Santa Barbara, he played in 166 contests and hit .318/.392/.387 with 77 RBI and 24 stolen bases. The Marlins took him with their 35th round pick in 2015.
Between GCL and the Short-season-A Batavia Muckdogs in the New York-Penn League after the draft, Newell hit .216 in 35 games. He later played for the Gary SouthShore Railcats and the Lake Erie Crushers in independent league ball.
Matt Brooks is a second baseman from Auburn, NY. After hitting .353 in 90 games for Monroe Community College, the Marlins took him in round 35 in 2016, with the 1,043rd overall choice.
Brooks played two seasons for the Muckdogs, appearing in 81 total games and slashing out a .228/.323/.267 line. Miami released him to free agency prior to the 2019 campaign.
Tyler Holton is a six-foot-two lefty pitcher from Tallahassee, FL. He went 10-3 with a 2.34 for the Florida State Seminoles in 2017, with 144 K’s in 119 1/3 innings in Division I. The Marlins, eyes wide as I’d imagine, chose him in the 35th round with fingers crossed.
Holton did not sign, then got chosen again in 2018 by the Arizona Diamondbacks in round nine. Between the rookie level and short-season-A, he’s gone 4-0 with a 2.39 ERA in 37 2/3 innings, with 56 K’s and a 0.876 WHIP as a professional.
Right-handed pitcher Jackson Rose played four collegiate seasons, first for Barton County CC and later for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. In 2018, he was 5-1 with a 1.99 ERA and 30 whiffs in 31 2/3 innings of work. The Marlins took him 1,047th overall.
After finishing 2018 with GCL, Rose spent the 2019 campaign with the Muckdogs, for whom he was 5-6 with a 4.90 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 64 innings. He’s still rostered with Batavia, although he’ll likely begin 2020 in the Midwest League with the Single-A Clinton LumberKings.
Torin Montgomery is a six-foot-three, 225 lb. first baseman from Kirkland, WA. The Marlins took a flyer on the 18-year-old with the 1,041st pick off the board six months ago. He’s since committed to Boise State University.
Check back tomorrow as we take a look at what’s happened in Miami’s last 10 drafts with their 34th round pick.