Today is an off-day for the Marlins. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand, if the Fish played and won today, things would start to look a little better that much more quickly. If they played today and lost - well, the few of us who care might start jumping off buildings. At least a day off means that they won't lose today.
There is hope coming though. Sure, it's hope that won't have any meaningful impact for at least a couple of years. But hey - at least that light at the end of the tunnel isn't a train - necessarily.
What is that hope? Well, the draft - which starts tomorrow, of course. The Marlins not only have the normal allotment of picks, but they also have a plethora of extra picks (see - there is a benefit to letting the Pavano's and Benitez's of the world get away, well, there is if the compensatory picks turn into anything).
Between the first round and the supplemental first round, the Marlins have 5 picks. That's five of the first 44 picks. They have 8 of the first 100 picks.
Over at Minorleagueball they hosted a mock draft over the weekend. Kingkoala (who if we handed out awards for best screen name would probably win - sorry "Carolina" and "Craig") participated in the draft as Larry Beinfest and the Marlins and he acquitted himself very well.
As I ranted about in diaries on this site and Sickels' site I'm hoping that the Marlins take some local talent with early picks. Here's a brief summary of what some of that talent includes:
Cesar Carrillo (UM): An almost definite first rounder. Carrillo is tall and thin. Because of that, and that he throws hard, he is often compared to Pedro Martinez. Don't take that to mean he's Petey's equal (or that he ever will be). The comparison comes from Carrillo's slight build and impressive stats.
Ryan Braun (UM): Braun has power and speed. He could put up 20 HR - and 20 SB numbers this year. A 20-20 college season (given the current bats) is roughly the equivalent of a 40-40 season in the bigs - it's very rare. On the downside, Braun is a bit of a head case and has made a number of baserunning mistakes in his career. He's a heck of an athlete though - started out as a shortstop, moved to third for the betterment of the team, and projects as an outfielder in the pros.
Chris Volstad (Palm Beach Gardens HS): If he somehow slips out of the first round, he'll probably become a Miami Hurricane next year.
Paco Figueroa (UM): Paco won't go nearly as high as any of the first three players listed, but he's a ballplayer. His twin brother, Danny, still has a year of eligibility left (due to a medical redshirt), so the brothers could be split up for the first time in their lives. Paco has done whatever has been asked of him at UM and has excelled. He could be a second baseman in the pros.
- Derek Hutton (FAU): While Hutton had a disappointing season this year, he'll be an interesting guy to watch in the draft. His name probably seems familiar to you, as he's the son of Marlins' TV broadcaster Tommy Hutton.