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Miami Marlins 2013 Draft Review: Colin Moran coming along

The final draft review of this draft season comes today, as the Miami Marlins' 2013 draft had a number of promising players and one hopeful anchor of the future in third baseman Colin Moran.

Colin Moran is slowly coming along for the Marlins in 2014.
Colin Moran is slowly coming along for the Marlins in 2014.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Marlins are well known for going young and sticking with prep pitching for much of their drafts in recent years, but Miami went to the college well in the 2013 MLB Draft a decent amount and picked up a few players who would serve them well in the future. In particular, the team hopes that one player becomes an anchor in their starting lineup for years to come, but the results so far have been underwhelming in 2014.

First Round: Colin Moran

Drafted: First round, sixth overall
School: University of North Carolina
Current Level: High-A, Jupiter (Miami Marlins)
Baseball America Top Ranking: 61st (2014)
Minor League Ball Top Ranking: 67th (2014)

The Marlins thought they were picking up the future of the team's franchise at third base in Moran, a smooth-hitting college hitter with an abundant track record of success in the University of North Carolina. For the Fish, this was an unusual selection in the sense that Moran was not known for upside; it was always questionable whether he would develop any power or whether he was a finished, decent-but-unspectacular product coming out of college.

Moran quelled some concerns about potentially poor translation to the professional leagues by putting up a decent debut campaign soon after he signed with Miami. He got started at Low-A Greensboro and hit a nice .299/.354/.442 (.363 wOBA) with a solid 14.3 percent strikeout rate and a non-fluky .323 BABIP. But after that, Moran was thrown into the Arizona Fall League and struggled, batting just .230/.323/.264 (.292 wOBA) in 99 plate appearances. He did a better job with walks but had a worse performance overall.

This season, the struggles continued. In a harsher run environment in High-A Jupiter, Moran is hitting just .274/.325/.349 (.317 wOBA), which is two percent worse than the league average. Both his strikeout and walk rates declined from last season, but there is still lots of time to see how his bat will develop in a full professional campaign. Moran's bat is critical because he projects as an average third baseman, but the lack of strong development early likely precludes him from a midseason promotion to Double-A like initially desired.

Second Round: Trevor Williams

Drafted: Second round, 44th overall
School: Arizona State University
Current Level: High-A, Jupiter (Miami Marlins)
Minor League Ball Top Ranking: 19th team (2014)

Williams was a surprising selection due to his style of game in contrast to what the Marlins typically chase. With the Fish loving prep pitchers with great tools, finding a guy who throws strong heat but went to a four-year college and posted very few strikeouts seems odd. Williams comes as another polished player who could make a quick climb to the big leagues if he is able to weather the storm with his more limited skill set. Williams has all the pitches, with a capable curve, slider, and changeup to go with a mid-90's fastball, but he fails to get any strikeouts with those offerings.

This is evident in his numbers. He breezed through three different levels in 2013, but stayed mostly in the New York Penn League in Batavia. In short-season ball, he threw up a 2.48 ERA and 2.65 FIP but only struck out 16.5 percent of batters faced. This season, he got the jump up to High-A Jupiter, and the results have been the same. He is posting a 2.81 ERA and 2.56 FIP, but still only whiffing 16.2 percent of batters faced on the year. He has gotten ground balls and has yet to allow a professional home run in 85 1/3 innings, but his work will be limited by whether he can find an extreme grounder approach or miss more bats.

Second Round: Colby Suggs

Drafted: Third round, 73rd overall
School: University of Arkansas
Current Level: High-A, Jupiter (Miami Marlins)
Minor League Ball Top Ranking: 16th team (2014)

Suggs was yet another college prospect from the 2014 draft who came to Miami after a successful run as a closer for the Arkansas Razorbacks. Suggs boasts a fastball and curveball with heavy velocity and bite, but as expected, that lends itself to control issues that might limit his potential. At the same time, the polished approach makes it so that Miami could have a relief arm ready to contribute as early as the end of the season if he puts it all together.

Currently, however, Suggs is failing to do just that. After an acceptable 27 1/3 innings in which he struck out 33 percent of batters faced and walked 15.8 percent of them, Suggs's strikeouts have fallen in High-A Jupiter. He struck out just 12 batters versus 11 walks in 19 2/3 innings in Jupiter this season, making for a measly 4.48 FIP next to a superficially impressive 2.79 ERA. The drop in strikeouts is seriously concerning and will be something to watch for going forward.

Other Notable Players

Chad Wallach was a disappointing fifth round selection out of powerhouse Cal-State Fullerton who initially profiled as a solid backup type who might easily become organizational depth. However, in Low-A Greensboro, Wallach is at least hitting like someone who wants to be considered as more in the future. After a weak run in Batavia late last season, he has come out firing in Greensboro, batting .307/.426/.455 (.410 wOBA) with a monster 16.4 percent walk rate.

Justin Bohn was a sleeper pick by Miami in the seventh round out of Feather River College in California. The JUCO pick was interesting because he plays a middle infield position and posted monster numbers in his JUCO league in his final season. He has recovered from disappointing play in 2013 to put up big numbers in Low-A Greensboro early on. Bohn is batting an impressive .304/.397/.464 (.391 wOBA) in his first 125 plate appearances at the level.

Miami will receive two compensation picks in 2014 due to the team failing to sign both competitive balance round pick Matt Krook and third-rounder Ben Deluzio last season.