The Marlins have competed for 27 years of Major League Baseball, winning two World Series.
Part of the Marlins historic success has to do with their knack for developing homegrown talent, through international free agency and the annual MLB Amateur Entry Draft. Despite that success, they’ve yet to graduate a 31st round choice to the major league level. How have they done over the past 10 seasons?
2010: Taiwan Easterling #947
Hattiesburg, MS native Taiwan Easterling was a five-11 outfielder out of Florida State University. The Marlins actually spent their sixth round pick on Easterling out of high school in 2007, but he decided to go to college. Three years later, they picked him again and…nothing. He returned to the Seminoles for his final season as a two-sport star.
Easterling hit .302 in 52 games for the Noles in 2011, increasing his draft stock slightly enough that he moved up to the 27th round. The Chicago Cubs got him that year, and sent him to their Rookie-level squad.
Easterling played three seasons of minor league ball, slashing .253/.310/.367 with nine home runs, 71 RBI, and 38 stolen bases in 182 contests.
2011 Kenny Jackson #943
Kenny Jackson was a six-foot-four third baseman from Corpus Christi, TX. He led the Big 12 with 69 games played in 2011, and hit .273/.367/.328 over two seasons with the Texas A&M Aggies.
After his selection, Jackson joined the GCL Marlins, in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League. In 37 games in 2011, he hit .202/.308/.242.
Although Jackson didn’t find success playing at the professional level, he later found employment as the head coach of the Western Texas College Westerners, guiding them to a 43-29 record over two seasons.
2012 Lucas Hunter #947
Five-foot-11 shortstop and Portland, OR native Lucas Hunter was taken by the Marlins out of Central Catholic HS, but instead ended up playing college ball. He played 13 games in 2013 with the University of Portland Pirates, going four-for-27 from the plate. The next season, he hit .176 in 44 games for the College of Southern Nevada Coyotes.
In 2017, Hunter played in 13 games with the Traverse City Beach Bums in the Frontier League, going three-for-27 with six walks and six runs. He hasn’t appeared in any other competitive level of baseball.
2013 Dalton Viner #922
Dalton Viner was another swing-and-miss for the Marlins. A six-foot-three, 220 lb. right-handed pitcher from Choctaw, OK, Viner was taken by the Marlins out of Eastern Oklahoma State College. He was 2-2 with a 4.78 ERA in 32 innings of relief for the Mountaineers, and was chosen in the 32nd round in 2014 by the Cincinnati Reds.
Viner instead transferred to San Jacinto, where he played in 11 games over two seasons for the Gators.
2014 Kyle Porter #917
Lefty pitcher Kyle Porter was named a second team college freshman All-American in 2011 for the University of California Bears, after going 6-0 with a 1.89 ERA and 57 K’s in 57 innings of Division I ball.
Porter played four seasons with the Bears, totaling a 15-7 record with a 3.04 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. After the Marlins selected him, he joined the GCL club, where he was 3-2 with a 5.18 ERA over 17 relief appearances. He did strike out 29 in 24 1/3 innings, and got called up for a cup of coffee with the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League.
2015 Griffin Conine #926
Six-foot-one right fielder Griffin Conine, (yes, that Conine), was taken by the Marlins out of Pine Crest HS, in Lighthouse Point, FL. Instead, the younger Conine matriculated to Duke University.
In three seasons with the Blue Devils, Conine played in 156 games and hit .280/.405/.531 with 31 home runs and 114 RBI, including 18 homers in his 2018 season. The Toronto Blue Jays spent a second round pick on him in 2018, and that was too good to pass up.
Conine has since played at the three lowest minor league affiliates in the Jays’ system, appearing in 137 games and hitting .266/.348/.515 with 29 home runs and 97 RBI. He was named to both the Low-A and MWL All Star Teams in 2019. Conine also served a 50-game suspension after testing positive of Ritalinic Acid, which is a stimulant.
2016 Preston Guillory #923
Six-foot-three right-handed pitcher Preston Guillory from Baton Rouge, LA played two seasons with the Panola (Junior) College Ponies, then played two more seasons with the TCU Horned Frogs. In his two seasons of Division I play, he was 5-2 with a 2.81 ERA, 57 whiffs in 67 2/3 innings, and a 1.12 WHIP.
The Marlins took him out of TCU at the draft, and tried him out at three levels, GCL, Jupiter, and the Middle-A Greensboro Grasshoppers. In 10 games, he struck out 19 in 18 1/3 innings, with three saves and a 0.77 WHIP. Even so, that was the last appearance he would make in affiliated ball.
In 2017 with the Joliet Slammers in the Frontier League, Guillory pitched 10 innings and got tagged for seven runs.
2017 Harrison White #929
Outfielder Harrison White is a five-foot-nine left-handed batter from Laguna Niguel, CA. In four seasons of Ivy League ball for the Yale Bulldogs, White slashed a .289/.374/.404 line over 155 contests.
After he was chosen, White reported to the Short-season-A Batavia Muckdogs in the New York-Penn League. He hit .280/.379/.348 in 38 games, ranking ninth in the NYPL with his OBP. After starting the 2018 season back with the Dogs, he was 0-for-11 over five games, and was released. He later played in 19 games for the Florence Freedom in the Frontier League, going 16-for-76.
2018 Stephen Scott #927
The Marlins took outfielder Stephen Scott out of Vanderbilt after he had played three seasons with the Commodores. He instead stayed on for his senior season, and played a total of 172 games of Division I ball. He hit .282/.413/.512 with 29 homers and 109 RBI.
More from Marlins Draft Analysis
This year, the Boston Red Sox took Scott in the 10th round. After joining the NYPL’s Lowell Spinners, he’s slashed a .248/.364/.400 line in 39 games.
2019 Parker Noland #921
Third baseman Parker Noland was worth a look in the 31st round for the Marlins after he hit .330/.496/.457 in 31 games in the Perfect Game Collegiate League for the Albany Dutchmen. He’s since committed to join Vanderbilt University.
Keep checking back here as we continue to recap the past 10 drafts here at Marlin Maniac.