In a completely unsurprising move the Marlins selected a high school position player from California. Christian Yelich was selected by the Marlins as the 23rd pick in the first round.
Here is the press release:
The Florida Marlins tonight announced the selection of first baseman/outfielder Christian Yelich with the 23rd overall pick in Major League Baseball's 2010 First-Year Player Draft. The announcement was made by Assistant General Manager and Vice President of Player Development and Scouting Jim Fleming.
"We really like this young man as a hitter. We thought he was as good a high school hitter as there was in this draft," said Marlins Director of Scouting Stan Meek. "We're excited we were able to pick him at that spot as we believe he has a chance to be a really good player."
Yelich, 18, played for Westlake High School in Westlake Village, CA and has committed to the University of Miami. A left-handed hitter and right-handed thrower, he is currently listed at 6-4, 190-pounds. A scouting report and video highlights of Yelich are available online at MLB.com .
Don't worry about going to MLB.com for the scouting report and the video highlights, the links are right here.
The Marlins drafted the young man in hopes of turning him will into an outfielder and best I can tell he never played that position this year in high school. But that really doesn't matter, the position can be learned. The main problem with him manning a position in the outfield is his throwing. Throwing can be taught up to a point. He will never have a cannon for an arm, but he can get better.
A 6-foot-4, 190-pounder, Yelich is a left-handed hitter with a swing that's been compared to former big leaguer Mark Grace. Although he's played a lot of first base, the Marlins project him to be an outfielder. A right-handed thrower, he has speed, and as his body fills out, so should his power potential.
"We're going to utilize the speed," Fleming said. "We'll put him in the outfield. He can play first. He's a very good first baseman. He can play third also."
Arm strength is a mild concern, partly due to his throwing motion. Fleming said the team will work on correcting that, and that his defense in the outfield shouldn't be a problem.
The thing about his filling out, is sometimes when that happens, speeds goes away. But it probably won't in Yelich's case since he is a thin, lanky kid and who may not bulk-up too much, just get stronger and weigh more.
This is my favorite quote of his.
"I was always a Yankees fan. I grew up watching them," Yelich said about an hour after he was taken in the Draft being televised on MLB Network and MLB.com. "As of now, I am a Florida Marlins fan.
Always glad to have another Marlins fan, but really, you can't remember who was playing in the first Major League game you attended? Go ask whoever took you, they will know. You really need to clear that up.
Yelich is signable so the August 16 deadline shouldn't come into play. The Marlins do a very job of not drafting players they can't sign.
Welcome aboard Chirstian Yelich!