4. Andrew Heaney, LHP
Drafted: 2012 1st round, 9th overall from Oklahoma State University
Age: 21 Height: 6'3" Weight: 180 lbs.
Andrew Heaney has the highest floor out of any pitcher in the Miami Marlins system (Editor's note: Jose Fernandez? Really? - MJ) (Correction: Ceiling->Floor). Considering that the Marlins almost did not sign Heaney after the draft, it is pretty amazing that Heaney could be in Miami by 2014. Heaney may be already older than Jose Fernandez, but he also has the maturity and development that is expected out of college pitchers. Andrew Heaney has the potential to be a second or third starter for years to come in Miami.
Heaney has a very effortless delivery and he pitches from a three-quarters arm slot, so he shouldn't be a pitcher expected to be injury-prone throughout his career. His fastball, which he can throw up to 93 mph but most of the time is at 88-91 mph, is a pitch that Heaney can throw for a strike anytime in the count. Still, Heaney's best pitch is probably his breaking ball; when he throws it a low angle, it can prove to be very troublesome for opposing hitters. He has struggled with his command of his changeup, but that should improve as he fixes a few very minor things in his delivery. Overall, Heaney is a strike-thrower who is able to use all of his pitches to keep hitters off balance.
In 2012, Heaney only threw 27 innings, most of them in Low-A Greensboro, after signing. His 4.95 ERA was not telling of just how dominant he was. Heaney has had a great start to his professional career, but scouts have concerns about him nonetheless. Most concerns with Heaney regard his ceiling, and whether or not the ninth overall pick in the draft was worth spending on someone who might top out as a third starter. I think the Marlins front office would debate that taking a less risky player with a high ceiling ninth overall has a better chance of working out than taking a Bubba Starling or Courtney Hawkins-type player. Despite these concerns, most still see Heaney as a pitcher who will have a place in the Marlins' major league starting rotation before long. Heaney is fourth on the Fish Stripes 2013 Top Miami Marlins Prospects list because of his outstanding pitchability, high floor, and proximity to the majors.