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This Day In Marlins History: Reviewing the 2007 Draft

Giancarlo Stanton became the jewel of the 2007 draft, but first-round draft pick Matt Dominguez was not so lucky. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Giancarlo Stanton became the jewel of the 2007 draft, but first-round draft pick Matt Dominguez was not so lucky. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

In Fish Stripes' continued attempt to remind people of the past of the Florida Marlins along with the present and future of the Miami Marlins, we bring you a new feature published three or so times a week entitled This Day In Marlins History! The concept itself is very simple: whenever we publish this, we find an interesting fact or tidbit related to the Florida / Miami Marlins and write a little bit about that event.

On this date, June 7, 2007, the then-Florida Marlins made a few selections in the 2007 MLB Draft. That 2007 MLB Draft may go down retrospectively as one of the best in team history.

Over the course of this week, we have been covering the 2012 MLB Draft thoroughly, with discussions of each player picked in the first ten rounds. According to our prospect experts, this 2012 draft may have very well gone decently for the Marlins. But on this date in 2007, the Marlins made two selections that had large expectations, and one of those picks turned out tremendously.

On this date, the Marlins drafted third baseman Matt Dominguez with the 12th pick of 2007 MLB Draft, and one round later, with 76th pick in the draft, the Fish took the player now known as outfielder Giancarlo Stanton. At the time, it was considered that Dominguez would become the better player and that Stanton would have a tougher shot to the majors. Little did everyone know that those tables would turn completely.

A quick look at some top prospect lists following the 2007 season showed Dominguez ahead of Stanton. For example, here were the top ten Marlins prospects before 2008 according to Baseball America.

1. Chris Volstad, rhp
2. Brett Sinkbeil, rhp
3. Ryan Tucker, rhp
4. Sean West, lhp
5. Gaby Hernandez, rhp
6. Chris Coghlan, 2b
7. Matt Dominguez, 3b
8. Aaron Thompson
9. Mike Stanton, of
10. Gaby Sanchez, 1b

Compare that to the top 20 that were listed by Minor League Ball's John Sickels that year.

  1. Cameron Maybin, OF, Grade A-
  2. Ryan Tucker, RHP, Grade B
  3. Aaron Thompson, LHP, Grade B
  4. Chris Volstad, RHP, Grade B
  5. Gaby Hernandez, RHP, Grade B
  6. Chris Coghlan, 2B, Grade B
  7. Matt Dominguez, 3B, Grade B
  8. Eulegio De La Cruz, RHP, Grade B-
  9. Brett Sinkbeil, RHP, Grade B-
  10. Gaby Sanchez, 1B, Grade B-
  11. Kyle Winters, RHP, Grade C+ (major sleeper)
  12. Sean West, LHP, Grade C+ (want to see if healthy)
  13. Dallas Trahern, RHP, Grade C+
  14. Scott Cousins, OF, Grade C+
  15. John Raynor, OF, Grade C+
  16. Hector Correa, RHP, Grade C+
  17. Logan Morrison, 1B, Grade C+ (intriguing power prospect)
  18. Burke Badenhop, RHP, Grade C
  19. Steve Cishek, RHP, Grade C
  20. Mike Stanton, OF, Grade C (seems way too raw to me to rank higher)

Both lists had Stanton significantly lower than Dominguez. Both lists had both players rated at the bottom end of those lists though, with the plethora of Marlins top pitching prospects listed above them. Ironically, of the top ten of Baseball America's list in 2008, only Stanton, Chris Coghlan, and Gaby Sanchez have played significant time in the majors.

Of course, the two high schoolers' paths diverged from that time forward. While Dominguez remained highly regarded due to his significant defensive ability at third base, Stanton leaped up the lists due to his power. In 2008, Stanton hit 39 home runs and had a .293/.381/.611 line in Greensboro in the Sally League and moved up to second in the Marlins' Baseball America list behind Cameron Maybin. The power output also jumped him to 16th in that year's Baseball America Top 100. Dominguez jumped to 64th on that list with a very good .296/.354/.499 campaign in Greensboro. Both players started 2009 in High-A Jupiter, but while Stanton blew that level away in 210 PA (.294/.390/.578), Dominguez hit a far more average .262/.333/.420 line.

This would come to define the careers of both players thus far. While Stanton excelled in the minors, Dominguez simply performed at an average rate, with the fact that he has always been young for the level helping to buoy his value. In 2010, Stanton destroyed Double-A pitching on his way to an early season call-up, while Dominguez continued a second straight season of mediocre, acceptable performances unfitting of a top prospect. By the end of the year, the future looked dimmer for Dominguez while Stanton had blasted 22 home runs and the doors wide open in the majors.

Retrospectively, things turned out great for the Marlins. While one prospect's hopes of a big league job with his drafted team dissipated in the offseason when the Marlins signed Jose Reyes and moved Hanley Ramirez to third base, another prospect, the more raw talent, became a superstar. With the average draft not necessarily yielding competent major leaguers, the Marlins have to be thrilled to have struck gold with Giancarlo Stanton. Unfortunately, when you strike gold in one area, the other well runs dry, and that happened with Matt Dominguez.