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Marlins Draft Recap - Day One

A recap of the Marlins other first day selections can be found here (for a more general look at the draft, Aaron Gleeman has a nice writeup on the draft's first day at The Hardball Times).

Despite that the Fish heavily favored high schoolers in the early rounds, they ended up using 17 of their 23 first day picks on collegians. This may allow the Marlins to save a little cash, as collegians are generally cheaper than high schoolers, as college players have less leverage (particularly 4th year players).

One of the Marlins' picks in particular stuck out to me: Gaby Sanchez, from the University of Miami, in the 4th round.

This is an interesting pick on a number of levels. Sanchez is a very talented ball player. In 2003 and 2004, he played 3rd base and hit for power and average. There aren't any 2005 numbers to share though, because Sanchez was suspended for the entire season. The reason(s) for his suspension have not been made public (and it's somewhat amazing that the truth has been kept under wraps for this long). It was announced that Gaby was suspended for "violating University policy" but no specifics were given other than that. What that means is anyone's guess.

In the end, it's neither here nor there. The only relevant thing is that the Marlins picked Sanchez in the 4th round, despite that Gaby hasn't played any organized ball since last summer.

Also interesting is that the Marlins selected Sanchez as a catcher (based on how they announced the pick to MLB). Sanchez did not catch at the college level. I found this to be particularly interesting as Gaby's major weakness at the college level was his defense. If you watched the College World Series either of the past two years, you're probably already familiar with this. I'm probably missing something here, but it seems unusual to convert someone who struggles with the glove into a catcher.