While the Coronavirus continues to keep the Miami Marlins out of the building at Marlins Park, it doesn’t mean the team isn’t preparing for the MLB Draft.
The Miami Marlins front office is attempting to work in as much of a normal capacity as possible these days despite the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. That means despite there being plenty of remote conferencing between employees and Derek Jeter and Michael Hill, the “business” of baseball is still on the go.
That includes making preparations for the MLB Draft. The Marlins once again will count on their scouting department to help usher in another class of college and high school stars who will become the face of the franchise in years down the line.
“Whenever the Draft happens, and however many rounds the Draft may be, our guys will be ready,” Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said via MLB.com. “We feel like we’ve done a lot of work in advance of the season being canceled, and we feel like we’re in as good a position as anyone to have a tremendous Draft, no matter how many rounds we have.”
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The Marlins by virtue of their 57-105 record – which was worst in the National League last season, will draft third overall. There have been modifications to the Draft which coincide with the shutdown of MLB and the front offices, as Joe Frisaro of MLB.com explained.
“With MLB shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, so much of the Draft remains in limbo. Initially, it was scheduled for June 10, but now, it will take place no later than July 20,” he wrote.
“In late March, the MLB and the MLB Players Association agreed to shorten the Draft (traditionally 50 rounds) to as a few as five rounds.”
That means there will be more attention paid to players and how they will impact the Miami Marlins and the remainder of the league. Also, it will mean there should be more youngsters looking for work after the Draft and free agents who can sign with any team.
Much like last season when the Marlins drafted JJ Bleday with their fourth pick and then added Kameron Misner with the competitive balance pick, the third overall selection can impact this organization immediately. Also, because the Marlins are stockpiling players throughout their minor league system, the need to add a specific player is not as important as getting the best player out there.
Miami’s initial plan once Jeter took over as the CEO of the franchise was to build with young pitching in 2018. There were plenty of high school players selected in the early rounds. Last year, the focus switched to more mature hitters who provide more power at the plate. Based on what publication you read, the Marlins farm system is one of the best in baseball, and it’s partially attributed to the use of the Draft to help with growth.
“It’s a credit to D.J. Svihlik, our amateur scouts and our analytics department,” Hill said. “They’ve been hard at work and making sure that all of the information that we collected through last summer and through the fall and early spring is in our internal system.”