Evaluating the Miami Marlins 2015 Draft Class

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Marlins

SAN DIEGO, CA – SEPTEMBER 11: Chris Paddack #59 of the San Diego Padres pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs at Petco Park on September 11, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

How long is long enough to evaluate how good a draft went?

Three years? Five? 10? It’s really a different answer for every player, with some rising faster and some taking as many as 11 seasons to get to the majors, as Isaac Galloway did in 2018 and Brian Moran in 2019. Today we’re going to take a quick gander through the 2015 Marlins draft class.

1B Josh Naylor

Josh Naylor is a five-foot-11, 250 lb. lefty hitter and Fiedler from Mississauga, ON. After the draft, he joined the GCL Marlins in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and hit .327 in 25 games of work.

In 2016, Naylor got promoted to the Single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League, where he slashed .269/.317/.430 with nine home runs and 54 RBI in 89 games. Just prior to the trade deadline, Naylor was traded to the San Diego Padres with Jarred Cosart, Luis Castillo, and Carter Capps for Andrew Cashner, Colin Rea, and Tayron Guerrero.

After the deal, Naylor continued to work his way up through the minors until making his major league debut with the Padres this season. He slashed out a .249/.315/.403 line in 94 games, with eight home runs and 32 RBI.

LHP Brett Lilek

Hazel Crest, IL native Brett Lilek was a six-four lefty out of Arizona State. He was 10-8 in 31 starts for the Sun Devils, with a 3.06 ERA and 162 K’s in 182 2/3 innings of Division I ball.

In parts of three seasons in the Marlins system, Lilek never got higher than the Single-A level, with the Grasshoppers. He totaled a 3-3 record in 23 professional appearances, with a 3.70 ERA and 58 K’s in 56 innings of work. The Marlins officially released him on May 29th, 2019.

CF Zeek White

Prior to the 2017 season the Marlins traded Zeek White with Luis Castillo and Austin Brice for Dan Straily. White had just hit .214 for the Short-season-A Batavia Muckdogs in the New York-Penn League. Since then, White got as far as the Single-A Dayton Dragons in the Midwest League, still four levels below the majors before getting released last May.

RHP Cody Poteet

Cody Poteet is a six-foot-one, 180 lb. starting pitcher out of UCLA. In three seasons with the Bruins he was 14-12 with a 3.93 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP over 73 appearances, including 39 starts.

Poteet has more-or-less risen through the minor leagues on schedule, splitting the 2019 campaign between the Double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in the Southern League and the Triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes in the Pacific Coast League. Last season he was 5-2 with a 2.25 ERA over 10 starts with the Shrimp. He’s one of three from the 2015 draft still in the Marlins system.

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Spring Training 2K17

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LHP Justin Jacome

Six-foot-six UC-Santa Barbara alum Justin Jacome was 20-11 with a 3.03 ERA in three seasons for the Gauchos before the draft made him a Marlin. He started 33 games over two seasons between the Grasshoppers and the Muckdogs, going 1-6 with a 3.34 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Never officially released, Jacome hasn’t appeared in a professional game since early 2016.

C Justin Cohen

Sarasota, FL native Justin Cohen was taken by the Marlins in the sixth round in 2015 out of Riverview HS. In three seasons, he remained at the rookie level with GCL and hit .273/.364/.373 in 50 games. He was released prior to the 2018 season.

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RHP Travis Neubeck

Travis Neubeck was a six-foot-two reliever from Maplewood, MN. Retired as of April 1st, 2019, Neubeck got into 76 games across the Marlins four lower levels of the minors. Over 142 1/3 innings, he was 5-13 with a 4.17 ERA and a .280 oppBA.

RHP Chris Paddack

Chris Paddack was the one that got away. At one point in 2016, he authored 15 consecutive hitless innings. Over six starts that year with the Grasshoppers, he surrendered three runs on nine hits and two walks over 28 1/3 innings. Former team owner Jeffrey Loria traded him to the San Diego Padres for the vastly overrated Fernando Rodney.

Rodney put up a 1.80 WHIP and a 5.89 ERA in 36 2/3 innings for the Marlins before leaving, while Paddack went on to make the 2019 MLB All Rookie team. In 26 starts for the Padres, he struck out 153 and held opponents to a 0.98 WHIP in 140 2/3 innings. He was 9-7 with a 3.33 ERA for 70-92 San Diego, with a pitching staff-second 2.6 WAR.

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