The Miami Marlins did something the organization has never done before. Six the entire draft class is comprised of pitching prospects.
If the Miami Marlins front office was worried it wouldn’t be able to find more pitching for the future of the organization, they solved that problem in the MLB Draft on Wednesday and Thursday night. Six pitchers, five of them from the college ranks, were added to an already strong minor league system.
The plan Marlins director of amateur scouting DJ Svihlik, along with CEO Derek Jeter and president of baseball operations, Michael Hill put together shows the franchise continues to believe a strong nucleus of pitchers is the way to make this ball club a contender for years to come.
It might have also sent a message to the starters in the minors that there is plenty of competition to be had at each level of the Miami Marlins’ farm system.
“A shortened 2020 MLB Draft turned into a historic one for the Marlins. For the first time in franchise history, they took pitchers with all of their first six picks,” Joe Frisaro of MLB.com wrote.
- Round 1, Pick 3: Max Meyer, Minnesota
- Round 2, Pick 40: Dax Fulton, Mustang HS (OK)
- Round 2s, Pick 61: Kyle Nicolas, Ball State
- Round 3, Pick 75: Zach McCambley, Coastal Carolina
- Round 4, Pick 104, Jake Eder, Vanderbilt
- Round 5, Pick 134, Kyle Hurt, USC
Miami capped the two-day Draft on Thursday by selecting five pitchers… Headlining the group, however, was a prep star — 6-foot-6 left-hander Daxton Fulton, from Mustang, Okla.”
Everything started when the Marlins threw a curveball of their own and took Minnesota right-hander Max Meyer over Asa Lacy of Texas A&M and Emerson Hancock of Georgia. The hard-throwing right-hander may be the best arm in the Draft, however, there were some concerns by some analysts that he might be a reliever or even a closer more so than a frontline starter.
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Svihlik put those questions to rest when he spoke to the media about the decision to take Meyer over other college stars.
“Absolutely a starter,” Svihlik said. “I wouldn’t have pulled him off the board if I didn’t think he was a starter. He’s never given us a reason not to.”
It appears Svihlik and the Miami Marlins were locked into Meyer from early on and played their cards close to the vest. It’s a move that could mean Meyer becomes the team’s top-ranked prospect, leapfrogging Sixto Sanchez on MLB’s list of Marlins top 30 prospects.
“Never before have the Marlins used their first six picks on pitchers. The closest was in 2005, when, counting compensation picks, the organization had five top-50 picks,” Frisaro added.
This year’s Draft class – not just with the Miami Marlins but with the other 29 MLB teams – was shaped by the lack of picks. The Draft was five rounds this year instead of 40 and the front office did not have the same kind of scouting information as in years past. Spring sports on the college and high school levels were shut down because of the threat of the Coronavirus, making Svihlik’s job, along with scouts a bit tougher.
The Marlins spent the past two years acquiring minor pitching prospects in return for trading way top Major League talent to create a new foundation for the organization. Sanchez, Edward Cabrera, and Nick Neidert are all on the brink of making the Majors. The team has a second wave of pitchers, most of them starters, who are also trying to push their way through to The Show.