It appears that the 2013 draft class of the Miami Marlins just got weaker, according to this tweet from ESPN's Jerry Crasnick:
Pitcher Matt Krook, 35th pick in draft, has decided not to sign with #marlins and will attend University of Oregon.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) June 27, 2013
The selection of Krook was one that was praised widely on draft day, both by our staff here at Fish Stripes, as well as those in the industry. Now, it appears that Krook will not in fact be joining the Marlins' organization after all.
Clearly, there is always risk associated with drafting a high school player with a college commitment. The University of Oregon's baseball program has become a well-recognized, national championship contender, even after just four short years of the program's revival. As is the case with the majority of Oregon athletics, the baseball facilities are world-class and the program is led by a head coach with one national championship and six College World Series appearances in George Horton.
There are numerous reasons we can speculate as to why Krook decided to become a Duck instead of signing with the Marlins. Krook is from northern California and perhaps he wanted to play for a respected program close to home, rather than grinding it out in the depths of professional baseball on the other side of the country. Perhaps the Marlins weren't prepared to offer him the amount of money that it was going to take to sign him away from his commitment, or that Krook's number to sign was higher after being drafted to a team he wasn't expecting to select him.
Regardless, Krook's decision to head to Eugene leaves a huge impact on the evaluation of the Marlins' 2013 draft class. Krook had some of the highest upside of any prep pitcher this year, and even though he is still raw, he had the chance to become one of the club's best selections from this crop of draftees.
Instead, the Marlins will now have to move on and focusing on developing the rest of their new talent, hoping that a more unheralded prospect can rise up to fill Krook's shoes. And in the meantime, keep an eye on Krook with the Ducks, as he could become a top-10 pick when he is next eligible for the draft.