The Miami Marlins won the World Series the previous season, so this draft was important in order to make sure that the team could sustain our success. Did the draft go well? Did The Fish get what we needed? Let’s review and analyze this vital draft in Miami Marlins history.
The Miami Marlins were attempting to build sustained success with the 2004 MLB draft.
The Miami Marlins had the twenty seventh pick in the draft, so it wasn’t going to be easy to get an elite talent. That said, previous drafts showed that there are gems at every level of the draft. The second pick of the draft is one that we couldn’t use, but it delivered SP Justin Verlander to the Detroit Tigers. I don’t need to explain how important this was. Verlander is currently worth 76.0 WAR for his career.
The Miami Marlins took LHP Taylor Tankersley with our pick, and it wasn’t exactly a good one to say the least. Tankersley was worth a very disappointing 0.6 WAR for his career. Now it’s clear that we couldn’t have Verlander, but could there have been better options for us to take during this draft? We’re there hidden gems this time around or not really? You have to believe that there were a lot of better options for us based on that terrible WAR.
The Miami Marlins could’ve taken 2B Dustin Pedroia, who went to the Boston Red Sox in the second round. The future AL MVP was worth 51.9 WAR for his career. There were other options too… how about RF Hunter Pence, who also went in the second round (to the Houston Astros in his case). Pence ended up being worth 30.9 WAR for his career. Both ended up being worth first round picks instead.
The Miami Marlins also missed out on 2B Ben Zobrist and his 44.5 WAR. The versatile slugger went to the Houston Astros in the sixth round instead. Talk about a gem!
The Miami Marlins whiffed in the 2004 draft and for sure should’ve done better. It’s clear that failing to draft key players was one of the issues for us during the Jeffrey Loria era.