The Miami Marlins were rumored to be in on three different names in the 2014 MLB Draft, but while the marketing buzz was around Carlos Rodon and the lack of position player depth pointed towards Alex Jackson, Miami went a more traditional route for them. Given their historical tendencies, it should be no surprise that the Fish opted for the biggest prep arm available to them, as they have for years before. This time around, it was right-hander Tyler Kolek whom the Marlins selected with the second pick of the 2014 MLB Draft.
Kolek is a big 18-year-old right-hander out of Shepherd High School in Shepherd, Texas, and that big frame allows for some big velocity. He was the rawest of the three top pitchers in the draft, but he had the hardest fastball at occasionally triple-digit velocities. He stands 6'5" and 230 pounds, so he certainly looks the part of a dominant hard-throwing ace, so Miami certainly got the tools in Kolek to create another bona fide ace.
The downside with him is that he is the biggest project among the three top pitching prospects, so it is likely Miami will have to wait a while to see Kolek in the majors. But there were rumors that the Fish saw him as the best talent in the draft, and with respectable pitching depth all throughout the organization, the team has no need for immediate help in that regard. Plus, Kolek fits the mold of guys that director of scouting Stan Meek likes to take; Kolek's Texas upbringing puts him not too far away from Meek's hotbed of influence in Oklahoma.
Miami picked up perhaps the best tools and the rawest talent in the draft, but it may come with the highest upside. The Fish will work to mold him well in the minors and work on his secondary offerings, but for now, the focus is on Kolek and that heat that he can bring as the second pick of the 2014 MLB Draft. Stay tuned here to Fish Stripes for all of your draft coverage, and join us in the live thread for more discussion!