The Miami Marlins had one of their best prospect seasons in some time, as a number of their top minor league talents proved their mettle and showed themselves worthy of attention. The Fish also got a few victories from the 2013 First-Year Draft. The team filled out a number of roles, including potentially their third baseman of the future after a long drought at the position.
But in other areas, the Fish failed to deliver via the draft. What were the ups and downs of the new crop, and how did they do in their first stint in professional ball? Let's examine some important names.
First Round: Colin Moran
Moran was clearly the highlight of the team's draft. The University of North Carolina star had produced consistently and a high level ever since arriving in college, and his entry into the draft was expected to be worth a top-five selection. The Marlins, who sat at sixth in 2013, did not figure to have a high chance of snagging either college third baseman in Kris Bryant or Moran, but the Cleveland Indians opted for high school third baseman Clint Frazier over the lower-upside Moran, and the Marlins reaped the benefits.
Moran's signing was late, but it was never really in jeopardy. He began the season in Low-A Greensboro and, after a misleading slow start, he recovered nicely and put up a good line. Moran hit .299/.354/.442, a batting line that was 27 percent better than the league average. He figures to start High-A Jupiter next year given the decent performance.
Competitive Balance Pick: Matt Krook
The Marlins appeared all but ready to sign Krook, who came highly touted from St. Ignacious High School in California. It seemed like a slam dunk to grab one of the better high school lefties available, but an undisclosed injury concern the Fish saw on their physical led them withdraw their offer to Krook. He then honored his commitment to pitching at the University of Oregon.
Second Round: Trevor Williams
WIlliams was touted as having strong stuff, including a nice fastball, but failing to get strikeouts to match. The truth is that that sounds a lot like plenty of Marlins pitchers in the past, but Williams is at least slated to be a starter for the time being. His early work in Low-A Greensboro was at least promising; the 16.1 percent strikeout rate was low, but he showed good control and posted a 2.48 ERA and 2.75 FIP.
Competitive Balance Pick: Colby Suggs
Suggs was a college closer with the University of Arkansas, and the aim with this selection was to get a player who could rise quickly through the minors. Suggs's stuff out of the bullpen proved to be worthwhile; he posted a 34.5 percent strikeout rate through Low- and High-A in 26 1/3 innings. He also walked 15.0 percent of those hitters, so he needs to control the walks. The Fish have the option to either continue his quick ascendance to Double-A next year or try and stretch him out at High-A and see if he can become a starter like Adam Conley did coming out of college.
Third Round: Ben Deluzio
Initially it seemed as though the Marlins would be able to sign Deluzio, but he had already begun taking summer classes at Florida State University and seemed intent on attending college.
Fourth Round: K.J. Woods
Woods is a traditional big power bat at a low-end position, but he spent time in the Gulf Coast League playing the outfield. The results at the plate were not impressive, as he hit just .201/.310/.250 and did not display that power.
Fifth Round: Chad Wallach
The Cal State Fullerton star catcher was a low-upside, easy-signability selection for Miami, and he did not display any upside in his work in Short-Season Batavia. Wallach hit just .226/.294/.267, though he did throw out 40 percent of would-be basestealers.
Sixth Round: Ryan Aper
The Marlins signed Aper and picked him up out of junior college, where he was destroying worlds in Division II baseball. Of course, professional leagues are not Division II baseball conferences, and Aper's debut over two levels leaves much to be desired; he hit just .143/.252/.222 with a 31 percent strikeout rate.
Seventh Round: Justin Bohn
Bohn was the second of seven junior college picks, and like Aper before him, his first shot at professional ball was not impressive. He hit .196/.285/.222 at Rookie ball and Short-Season A-ball, so he will have to repeat those levels and prove his league-MVP level play in junior college was not so fluky.