Following the 2013 MLB draft can be confusing, and at times scary, as it moves so fast that it's hard to look at some of the individual players. Without trying to concentrate on too many players, I decided to look at five players the Marlins drafted.
Chandler Eden is a talented high school pitcher who will be nearly an impossible sign for Miami, Adam Westmoreland is a left-handed power reliever out of South Carolina, and Kevin Williams is a oft-injured athlete from UCLA. K.J. Woods is a strong lefty outfielder with a sweet swing and Justin Bohn is a speedy shortstop who posted monstrous numbers in JuCo.
These five players are all very different athletes, but they're similar in the fact that they all have interesting and unique stories.
- Right-handed pitcher Chandler Eden was generally considered one of the top 100 or so high school seniors in the 2013 MLB Draft. How he slipped to the Marlins in the 36th round is unbeknownst to me, but it definitely has a lot to do with his commitment to Oregon State University. The Beavers baseball program is thriving right now, as they are currently ranked fifth in the nation, and Eden is expected to help bring them a national championship next year. In the extremely low chance that the Marlins sign Eden, they will have to flash him the kind of money that would normally go to a player drafted about thirty rounds before he was.
- Adam Westmoreland, a left-handed pitcher at South Carolina, was drafted in the 26th round by Miami. Westmoreland is 6-foot-5, 270 pounds, and has played a key role coming out of the bullpen for the Gamecocks this season. With a fastball in the lower-90s, Westmoreland can be an intimidating presence on the mound. In 66 innings pitched in 2013, Westmoreland has a 2.32 ERA with 62 strikeouts and 15 walks. Westmoreland and the Gamecocks were recently eliminated from the NCAA tournament by Marlins first-round pick Colin Moran and the University of North Carolina.
- Aside from Colin Moran, 29th round pick Kevin Williams, a shortstop at UCLA, will be the only other Marlins draftee heading to the College World Series. Williams is only hitting .232/.324/.304 in 112 AB's this season but I'm guessing that has a lot to do with his shoulder injury he's been nursing. A left-handed hitter, Williams is a very good athlete but he'll definitely be moving from shortstop down the line. He's playing for a talented UCLA team this year that features Pat Valaika, Chris Valaika's brother. Valaika was drafted by the Rockies in the ninth round.
- The Marlins fourth-round pick, K.J. Woods, is listed at 6-foot-4, 208 pounds, but he's probably closer to 230 or 235. A talented left-handed hitter, Woods isn't the fastest outfielder, but he does have a fairly strong arm. I'm assuming the Marlins will work very hard to try to turn Woods into a corner outfielder, even though he has played first base in the past. With a career On-Base Percentage of .548 at Fort Mill High School in South Carolina, Woods has proven he can get on base in a variety of different ways. Woods has a swing somewhat similar to Ken Griffey Jr. but his is far, far less refined. Nonetheless, Woods has pretty obvious power potential from the left side of the plate. According to Woods' interview with the Fort Mill Times, Woods was eating a turkey sandwhich when he got the great news. The interview really makes it seem that Woods is truly grateful the Marlins drafted him and he is thrilled to start his professional career. He is expected to sign with the Marlins but he had been considering Arizona State, LSU, South Carolina, and Florida, as well as the possibility of attending a junior college in Florida to raise his draft stock, before draft day.
- Justin Bohn, the Marlins seventh round selection, is currently a shortstop at Feather River JC in California, the same school that produced Double-A Jacksonville infielder Danny Black. In 201 plate appearances for the Eagles this year, Bohn hit .413/.482/.685 with three home runs and 18 stolen bases. Bohn is currently committed to Oregon State University after two years at Feather River, but the Marlins sound pretty confident that they'll get him signed. When asked about Bohn's abilities, Stan Meek told MLB.com, "Bohn is a real solid, plus runner, plus arm, plus defensive guy. We'll see how much the bat comes along." If that quote leaves anything to be said about Bohn's ability at the plate, it's that the Marlins don't think his JuCo inflated numbers show what type of hitter Bohn truly is.