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MLB Draft 2014: Miami Marlins opt for upside project in Tyler Kolek

With the second overall pick in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft, the Miami Marlins selected the hardest thrower in the draft, high schooler Tyler Kolek.

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The Miami Marlins just drafted Tyler Kolek, a right-handed pitcher out of high school in Texas. It's hard to scout Kolek without seeing him in person, but here's a few general observations and ideas regarding the Marlins top pick.

Standing at 6'5'', country strong with massive hands, Kolek looks the part. It's not ridiculous to look at Kolek's frame and conjure up a young Roger Clemens, both Texas products (Clemens went to the University of Texas) that throw hard and fill out their uniforms. However, I'd only compare Kolek to Clemens in terms of their builds, Clemens obviously had a much different looking arsenal.  Kolek is more similar to last year's third overall pick Jonathan Gray, if you are in need of a comp. A good student in school and a good teammate by all accounts, Kolek seems mature and driven to be the best he can. Kolek's mechanics aren't great and they often mess up his control, but they really aren't anything that's not a simple fix and definitely nothing that would suggest future elbow issues. Overally, Kolek's solid frame and steady mechanics match his power pitcher profile.

Tyler Kolek has been described by many as the hardest throwing high school pitcher of the modern era. Kolek has been routinely clocked at 101 and 102 mph and nobody he's faced has been able to touch it. Despite being able to overpower teams with just one pitch, Kolek has been working on his changeup and his breaking balls very nicely. They both could potentially become above-average pitches, but my guess is that Kolek will end up using his slider more down the line. His changeup needs a lot of work, but it's easy to have faith in it just because of how nicely it could offset his other pitches, in particular his fastball.

In this Crawfish Boxes article, Subber10 called for the Astros to take Kolek with the first pick simply because he throws triple digits. I was a little surprised that the Marlins passed on Carlos Rodon, the top college arm in the draft and a player that will almost certainly be in the Majors before Kolek. Still, how could you pass on the hardest throwing draft prospect ever? The way in which the Marlins develop Kolek will determine how successful his career will be and I fully expect them to handle him with care. Kolek should be able to take his time and develop his other pitches, even if his fastball is still really all he needs at the lower levels.

Tyler Kolek is a project. He doesn't have great command of any of his pitches and he needs to make some minor fixes to his delivery. I believe that the Marlins drafted him because they saw him as the best player on the board. It will be extremely exciting to have such a talented power pitcher in the system, the kind of pitcher the Marlins haven't seen since Jose Fernandez. Kolek makes more sense for the Marlins than one might suppose and I don't expect any to criticize them for making this move. Tyler Kolek has one of the brightest futures of any young power pitcher in baseball and I'm sure the Marlins organization can't wait to get to work with him.