MLB Draft 2014: Miami Marlins Day 3 Highlights

Rich Schultz

The Marlins emphasized pitching and upside as they wrap up their 2014 draft class.

Day 3 of the MLB Draft is a day that's reserved for the true draft obsessives. Saturday saw 900 players get selected from all paths of baseball development (including the Cleveland Browns organization), and the overwhelming majority of those selections will never get the chance to contribute to a major league ball club.

The Marlins spent Day 3 exercising a familiar tactic at the end of the draft: pitching, pitching, pitching. 18 of the 30 selections Miami made were pitchers, with 15 of those arms coming from the college or junior college ranks. Here are a few highlights as the Marlins wrapped up their 2014 draft class.

11th Round - Nick White, RHP (6'3", 205 pounds)
Berryhill HS (OK)
Stop me if you've heard this before; the Marlins selected a tall, projectable righty from an Oklahoma high school. Marlins Scouting Director, Stan Meek, has a well-documented history of gleaning talent from the Sooner State and Nick White may be the next in line. White led his team to the 4A State Championship in Oklahoma by bringing an above-average fastball with a classically-nasty 12 to 6 curveball. White's velocity was all over the place this season as scouts saw the fastball fluctuate from 85 mph, all the way up to 94 mph. That could be due to a high-effort overhand delivery that worries some scouts. White is a high-profile commit to Oklahoma State, a prominent baseball program. He will be a tough sign but the Marlins drafted him after the 10th round, which means that his bonus will not count against the Marlins' draft pool budget.

12th Round - Roy Morales, C (6'1", 207 pounds)
Colegio Angel David HS (Puerto Rico)
This is not the first time the Marlins have drafted a stocky catcher from Puerto Rico (Raise your hand if you remember Jobduan Morales? Nobody? Got it.). Roy Morales' biggest asset is a big, accurate arm that's been very useful during game situations, even though Morales is new to the catcher position. His hit tool is inconsistent at this point, but his body suggests possible plus power. Morales should be a relatively easy sign as he's a bit old for a prep player and coming from Puerto Rico, doesn't have many collegiate options.

14th Round - Zach Sullivan, SS (6'2", 170 pounds)
Corning-Painted Post East HS (NY)
Originally a center-fielder, the Marlins drafted Sullivan as a shortstop. He's an elite athlete with plus-plus speed and quick instincts, so the position change may be pretty seamless. Sullivan's bat has potential too. He works the bat quickly through the zone which results in a lot of line drive doubles. He'll probably never hit for much power, but has a ceiling of a contact-oriented middle infielder with plus defense and a constant stolen base threat. Sullivan is currently committed to Stony Brook University (Tom Koehler's alma mater).

15th Round - Connor Overton, RHP (6'0", 190 pounds)
Old Dominion University
Once considered a prospect that could go somewhere around the 5th round, Overton took a medical redshirt during his sophomore year. He's a strong and athletic pitcher who brings good stuff to the table and a solid ability to control his pitches. His fastball has good life and sits in the low 90s. He can touch it up to 94 when needed, but tends to lose some movement and become hittable. Overton's best pitch is his slider, which is above-average right now and some scouts believe would be a nice strikeout pitch at the major league level. Overton has already shown an ability to strike batters out by knocking 9.5 hitters per 9 IP, although the competition wasn't at a very high level. The verdict is still out on how signable Overton is, but nonetheless, this was a nice value pick for the Marlins.

16th Round - Scott Squier, LHP (6'5", 190 pounds)
University of Hawaii
Former Arizona prep star who was drafted by the Tigers in the 21st rounder, Squier has seen his draft status jump all over the place. On one hand, scouts see a tall and projectable left-hander who has two solid secondary offerings and average command. On the other, we find an arm that hasn't been able to increase his velocity in the last 3 years and has shown some immaturity both on and off the field. Squier ended his season at Hawaii with a complete game where he could be found throwing his above-average slider for strikes and commanding his 90 mph fastball with great precision. If Squier can add some muscle to his lanky frame and continue to refine his command, it's easy to project him as mid-rotation arm at the major league level. Scouts also suggest he could be fast-tracked to the majors in a relief role.

20th Round - Jordan Holloway, RHP (6'4", 190 pounds)
Ralston Valley HS (CO)
The Marlins took a big swing with Holloway, who figures to be the toughest signee in the last 30 rounds of this draft class. Holloway hit a growth spurt his senior year, going from 5'11" all the way to 6'4". At the same time, Holloway took a big jump in velocity, now topping out at 94 mph. Holloway has also shown an ability to throw a couple different breaking balls and most scouts figure that time with a professional organization will help him settle into an advanced breaking pitch to go along with his already solid fastball and projectable frame. Holloway was projected to go in the third round, and has committed to University of Nebraska-Omaha. He's a bit of a project, but signing Holloway in the 20th round would be a big win for the Marlins' front office.

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