Looking at the past 28 drafts, the Marlins have had luck both good and bad.
The Marlins have taken a total of 28 players as 30th round picks over their 27-season major-league association, but have yet to select a player that has graduated to the majors after being selected at that spot. Here’s the last 10 drafts, with the 30th round recapped for the Marlins.
2010 Zach Robertson #917
Des Moines, IA native Zach Robertson was drafted as a six-foot-one, 195 lb. left-handed pitcher out of the University of Iowa. Working mostly as a reliever through his senior year, he was 8-3 with a 4.02 ERA and 61 whiffs in 56 innings, ranking fifth in the Big 10 in victories.
After the draft, Robertson appeared at Florida’s lowest four stateside affiliates during the 2010 season. Between the Rookie-Level GCL Marlins in the Gulf Coast League, the Short-season-A Jamestown Jammers in the New York-Penn League, the Middle-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League, and the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League, he appeared in a total of 18 games. Over 32 innings, he was 1-2 with a 5.06 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP.
Robertson followed his time in affiliated ball in the Frontier League for the two years afterward. In 2011 with the River City Rascals, he was 9-4 with a 4.50 ERA over 26 appearances, including 12 starts.
2011 Jose Behar #913
Miami native Jose Behar was taken as a junior out of Division I Florida International. A six-foot, 190 lb. catcher, he put up a .282/.330/.392 slash line over three collegiate seasons.
After the draft, Behar appeared with the same four affiliates for the Marlins over the next three seasons, along with the Marlins-NYPL replacement for Jamestown, the Batavia Muckdogs. He managed to hit just .185 in 89 contests in total with four home runs.
2012 David Cruz #917
Another catcher from Miami, FL, David Cruz signed out of Southwest Miami High School and started with the GCL Marlins afterward. He was seven-for-46 in 20 games, with six RBI.
Back with GCL for a second spin in 2013, Cruz went 10-for-37 in 13 contests, with three home runs and eight RBI, but it wasn’t enough to convince the Marlins to keep him in the system any longer. In 2014, Cruz played in the Frontier League with the Evansville Otters, where he was 15-for-85 in 29 games.
2013 Eric Fisher #892
Lefty first baseman Eric Fisher was chosen by the Marlins out of the University of Arkansas in 2013, (where he was a teammate of Brian Anderson) but Fisher returned to the Razorbacks for his junior season in 2014.
In 65 games as a junior, Fisher hit .268/.315/.451 with nine home runs and 45 RBI. The Marlins spent another pick on him after that, and got him to sign out of the 17th round.
Fisher played in 39 games for the Muckdogs after the draft, hitting .248/.269/.342, then repeated essentially the same slashline in 2015 in Batavia, at .246/.295/.342. He followed that by going seven-for-53 with the Grasshoppers.
2014 Kyle Fischer #887
Six-foot-three right-handed pitcher Kyle Fischer was chosen by the Marlins out of Division 2 St. Cloud State, where he was 17-6 with a 2.39 ERA over two season, along with 132 K’s in 158 2/3 innings and a 1.07 WHIP.
Over the next three seasons, Fischer played at GCL, Greensboro, Jupiter, and with the Double-A Jacksonville Suns in the Southern League. He totaled a 4-7 record with 18 saves and a 3.40 ERA, with 131 whiffs over 143 innings, ranking fifth in the SAL in 2015 with 12 saves. Fischer retired on July 29th, 2016.
2015 Joe Chavez #896
Joe Chavez was a five-11 shortstop from Ontario, CA, and a four-year letterman with UC Riverside. In four seasons of Division I, he slashed a .299/.393/.436 line in 172 contests. He led the Big West in both 2013 and 2014 in stolen bases, with 17 and 22 respectively.
Chavez resided in the Marlins system for two seasons, between GCL, Batavia, Jupiter, and Greensboro. In 55 games, he hit .243/.345/.312 with two long-balls, 21 RBI, and only two stolen bases in five attempts.
2016 RHP Garrett Suchey #893
A right-handed pitcher from Warrior, AL, Garrett Suchey didn’t sign for the Marlins when selected. He played one season with the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2017, going 2-7 with a 3.18 ERA and three saves. Despite starting only one game, he averaged over three innings per appearance and posted a 1.15 WHIP.
The Kansas City Royals took a chance on Suchey in the 26th round the following year. After signing, he joined the Lexington Legends in the SAL, where he was 2-2 with a 1.36 ERA, a 0.94 WHIP, and 30 K’s in 33 innings (versus only four walks). Released by the Royals following the 2018 campaign, Suchey hasn’t signed anywhere since.
2017 LF Michael Donadio #899
Port Jefferson, NY native Michael Donadio was a four-year starter for the St. John’s Red Storm, where he slashed out a healthy .323/.433/.463 line in 211 Division 1 contests. Joining GCL out of the draft, Donadio went 27-for-97 with 13 RBI in 31 games.
Donadio spent most of the 2018 season with the Muckdogs, playing in 56 games and hitting .274/.348/.421 with five homers, 26 RBI, and eight stolen bases in 10 attempts. Between the Hammerheads and the new Marlins Single-A Affiliate, the Clinton LumberKings in the Midwest League in 2019, Donadio hit just .194 in 34 games. The Marlins released him on June 13th.
2018 LHP Garrett McDaniels #897
The Marlins chose six-two lefty pitcher Garrett McDaniels out of Pee Dee Academy in Mullins, SC, but McDaniels decided to go to college instead. In 10 games for the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, including eight starts in 2019, he was 0-3 with an 8.35 ERA and a. 1.89 WHIP.
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2019 RHP Joey Steele #891
Right-hander Joey Steele played four seasons at the Division 1 level for the University of San Francisco Dons, appearing in 78 of his 81 games as a relief pitcher. Although he had a 1-11 record and a 5.27 ERA, what really stood out on Steele’s pitching line was his 110 whiffs over 99 innings, including 54 in only 35 as a senior. He collected 11 saves in 2019 prior to the draft.
Steele immediately joined Batavia, and posted a 2-0 record with a 2.08 ERA and 33 strikeouts (versus only five walks) in 21 2/3 innings. The lone remaining 30th round pick active in the Marlins system, Steele should get a chance to show his stuff at higher levels.