The Marlins turned out to be one of the busier squads in the Rule 5 Draft. While they did grab three players, they had seven players pillaged, five off of their Double-A Jacksonville Suns roster. This was noteworthy since the Marlins are widely considered to have one of the weaker farm systems in baseball, so it was surprising to see so much talent taken by other teams. It might leave one to believe that the perception of overall weakness might be stronger amongst pundits and fans then it is amongst scouts and statistical departments, but more likely it's that the Marlins have a lot of acceptable "organizational filler" needed to keep the farm system stocked. Talent that isn't quite good enough to make the majors but is good enough to be depth in the minors.
Regardless of the reasons behind it, the Marlins now have some gaps to fill in said so-called weak farm system. Let's talk about who the Fish lost specifically, though. All players were taken in the AAA Phase of the draft and thus cost teams $50,000 to acquire.
Enderson Franco is a right-handed starter picked 2nd overall in round one of the AAA Phase by the Atlanta Braves. Franco was acquired earlier this year from the Tampa Rays in exchange for an international bonus slot valued at $500,000. He was 6-12 with a 5.36 ERA over 126 innings this year, striking out 84 and walking 33. The Braves probably like his strikeout potential and relative youth (at 22 years old) but he has some significant command issues to overcome.
Zach Cox was the first round pick for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2010 draft, but he's never made it out of the minors and in this particular draft became the 15th pick, going to the Washington Nationals. Cox was traded to the Marlins in 2012 in exchange for Edward Mujica. He hits well enough in AA but has struggled in a couple of promotions to the PCL (which is never a good sign for an offensive prospect). At 26, he projects as a bat off of the bench, at best.
Felipe Gonzalez went 8-6 over 14 starts with a 3.28 ERA for the advanced A-ball Brandenton Marauders, striking out 80 and walking 30. The 24 year old became the 21st pick, heading to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Gonzalez was the first of two Marlins pitchers selected by the Dodgers, the second being 25 year old lefty reliever Alex Burgos, who put up a 2.12 ERA in 22 games between A and AA Ball this past season. Burgos was selected as the first and only pick in the fifth round of the AAA Phase, also the second to last player to be taken (the very last was Juan Caballero in the AA Phase).
Chipper Smith was taken ninth in round two by the Baltimore Orioles. Smith had been with the Marlins since being selected in the 38th round of the 2012 draft. The 25 year old southpaw projects as something of a lefty power arm out of the pen.
Viosergy Rosa was the first pick of round three, selected by the Oakland A's. In 2014 the A's found success with another Rule 5 Draft pick first baseman from the Marlins. Canha lightning strike twice? Rosa has undeniable raw power but there is concern that his approach at the plate wont translate to the major league level.
DJ Johnson has bounced around a few teams before landing in Miami, but his stay wasn't long as the Los Angeles Angels snagged him with the fourth pick in round three. He's a power armed right-hander who's best shot is to make it as a pen arm, but there's not much upside here.
All and all, you could look at this group and say that Miami lost some depth but no one you'll be crying yourself to sleep for at night. Some of these guys might pan out or this may be the last time you ever see their names in print. Either way, the 2015 Rule 5 draft is in the books and now the team moves on to once again attempting to strengthen the organization through free agency.