Marlins Prospect Watch: Checking in With the 2016 Draft Class

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The fruits of the 2016 MLB draft have started to make an impact on some major league rosters.

A total of 69 players selected in 2016 have already made their major league debut, led by the Cleveland Indians Shane Bieber, with 6.0 WAR already to his credit. The group has already totaled 41.5 WAR. The Marlins have seen Zac Gallen and Robert Dugger make their debuts, but neither were chosen by the Marlins, and Gallen is regrettably no longer in the system.

But that’s not to say the Marlins took a swing-and-a-miss in 2016. Without a second round pick in that draft, and prior to the advent of the “Competitive Balance” round, the Marlins chose a total of 39 players that year. Blessed few remain in the soup that is the Marlins minor league affiliate feeder system, but they may yet have a significant impact on the club at the parent level.

First Round LHP Braxton Garrett

Braxton Garrett put up a 10.3 K/BB through his two seasons on the senior varsity at Florence High School, going 12-3 with a 0.65 ERA and a 0.574 WHIP over 22 starts. The Marlins took a chance on him with the seventh overall selection, and gave the Foley, AL native the rest of the season off.

In 2017, Garrett joined the Single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League. Over his first three starts, he surrendered seven hits and six walks in 13 2/3 innings for a sub-1 WHIP, along with a dozen strikeouts and a 0.66 ERA. In his fourth start, he only lasted 1 2/3 innings before first getting shelled for six hits and coming out of the game. Soon after, he went on the injured list, and ended up getting Tommy John Surgery. He missed the entire 2018 campaign in recovery.

In 2019, we finally got a good long look at Garrett with the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League. In 20 starts, he was 6-6 with a 3.34 ERA, 118 K’s in 105 innings, and a nice 1.229 WHIP.

With his elite strikeout rate and his passable WHIP, the Marlins are set to start Garrett with the Double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp to begin the 2020 season. He’s likely a competitor for the 2021 rotation, but it’s possible he could make his debut this season.

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