Ron Miller Bomb (via JustRake24)
On Tuesday night the Marlins made a few intriguing choices in the MLB Amateur draft. Here's a little background on the players the Marlins drafted in rounds for from ten, and what's in store for them in the future.
Austin Dean, HS, OF, Marlins 4th Round Selection: Austin Dean is not your typical Marlins draft pick. He’s a high school player with huge power potential, and no real position in the field. Chances are Dean will end up as a corner outfielder or first baseman, even though he played primarily first base (and some second base as well) at his high school outside of Houston. Austin Dean has a very unconventional swing that is hard to describe. It’s almost as if Dean is inside a computer game and every swing he takes there is a small glitch. Still, it has worked for him so far so hopefully the coaches he plays for next year don’t try to mess with it too much. I’m not convinced that Dean will ever play in the Marlins organization. He is currently committed to the University of Texas, and even a large signing bonus might not keep Dean away from the college experience. If the Marlins do sign him, they will probably have to give him a signing bonus that is above slot for a fourth-round pick. Overall, this a very nice draft pick by the Marlins because of Dean’s potential as a power-hitting outfielder.
Austin Nola, LSU, SS, Marlins 5th Round Selection: With their fifth round pick, the Marlins selected their second-straight Austin. However, the similarities stop there. Nola is a senior from Louisiana State University that has started for the Tigers for four straight years. Prior to the 2012 MLB Amateur draft, Nola was also selected by the Rockies in the 48th round of the 2008 draft, and the Blue Jays in the 31st round of the 2011 draft. Nola has the frame of a typical shortstop, and hits and throws with his right-hand, like most shortstops tend to do. He’s never going to hit for power, but he does have enough strength to have consistent gap power. His defense is impressive, but his strong arm makes up for a lot of his fielding mistakes. In conclusion, Nola could be a defensive-minded shortstop that could reach the majors not too long from now.
Anthony Gomez, Vanderbilt, SS, Marlins 6th Round Selection: Gomez is a player that could return to college for his senior season. He plays terrific defense at shortstop, but his bat is probably not ready to handle talented minor league pitching. Gomez is a "gamer" and he should be a valuable contributor on almost any team he plays on. He also has above-average speed, which has led to two All-SEC awards. If I were Gomez, I would stay for my senior season at Vanderbilt. However, if he wants guaranteed money and the chance to play with the top baseball players in the world, he should sign with the Marlins.
Ryan Newell, Shorter University, RHP, Marlins 7th Round Selection: I know little about Newell, but I do know that he turned some heads this year when he started throwing in the upper 90’s. As a high school player, he was always throwing in the lower 90’s, so the recent news about his velocity surprised me. However, anytime you have a pitcher throwing as hard as Newell is right now, they’ll always have some serious potential. I see Newell as a reliever, but he should overpower hitters in the lower levels of the minors.
Drew Steckenrider, Tennessee, RHP, Marlins 8th Round Selection: Steckenrider is the only player the Marlins selected in the first ten rounds that is above-average in terms of height and weight. If Steckenrider can never figure things out as a pitcher, the Marlins could possibly move him back to the outfield, where he has enthralling raw power. As a junior, Steckenrider pitched and played outfield for Tennessee. He struck out seventy-nine in sixty-seven innings, and as a hitter, stole twelve bases and drew thirty-nine walks. Steckenrider is a far better pitcher than hitter, so I would be shocked if the Marlins didn’t ask him to try pitching first, assuming he signs.
Nicholas Wittgren, Purdue, RHP, Marlins 9th Round Selection: Wittgren was the Marlins third consecutive college right-handed pitcher that they drafted. Nick Wittgren has done a fantastic job closing out ballgames for the Boilermakers over the last couple years. Wittgren attended a D-II school before transferring to Purdue, where he quickly became their lights-out ninth inning pitcher. His fastball is in the low 90’s, and none of his other pitches project to be above-average major league out pitches. However, Wittgren could still put together a nice career as a reliever. If Wittgren decides to leave Purdue, he will probably sign with the Marlins for the amount the slot recommends.
Ron Miller, HS, 3B, Marlins 10th Round Selection: Miller is a chubby high school third baseman out of Gardena, California. He originally attended Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles, but as a sophomore, he transferred to Serra High School. I like that Miller is pretty agile and has power projection. He has participated in the RBI program (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) which makes him especially likable for me. Even though Miller has a little baby fat, he is a very strong athlete which may make up for it. He has a simple approach at the plate, but with the right coaching, that could change. Overall, this is one of my favorite Marlins picks. Miller is committed to UNLV. Not only does selecting a player from the RBI program give other young players hope, but Miller also has a lot of potential to be a power-hitter. Also, Crawfish Boxes, the Astros SB Nation blog, wrote a tremendous piece on Miller which provides a lot more information on his abilities. Here is the link.
Marlins Rounds 4-10 by the Numbers:
The Marlins selected four high school prospects and six college players from round four to round ten. Of those six college players, five are juniors, and only one is a senior.
Average weight: 192.9 pounds.
Average height: 6’1’’
Position Players: 4
Players from West of Texas: One
Players from East of Texas: Five
Players from Texas: One
Reasons to be Excited: Many