Keith Law has not been impressed by the Marlins' farm system over the last few seasons. And that has not changed entering 2016.
What it means
When the Marlins drafted Kolek in the first round in 2014, they likely felt he would reach the majors relatively quickly and not have difficulty progressing through their minor league system. But that has not been the case.
At just 19, Kolek pitched to a 4.56 ERA and 4.87 FIP over 108.2 innings with the Marlins' Single-A affiliate. But maybe Kolek was not ready to advance a level so soon.
In 22.0 innings in 2014, Kolek pitched to a 4.50 ERA and 3.92 FIP.
Although Kolek was projected to have a notable amount of success, the Marlins' expectations might have been too high. There is plenty of time for Kolek to adjust and join Miami's pitching staff. But there is a good chance that does not happen very soon, according to Law.
Why there are good things ahead
Miami's farm system might be depleted, but there is still a good chance Kolek is able to have success heading into 2016.
Kolek is relatively young and could benefit from working with Jim Benedict, who was named the club's vice president of pitching development in October. Benedict has developed a reputation for working with young pitchers and adjusting their deliveries. For Kolek, perhaps it is just a matter of slightly changing his delivery to the plate.
Kolek could also succeed because he has the velocity to succeed. As Law points out, Kolek's fastball was clocked at 98 mph in the sixth inning of a start last season. When the Marlins speak about Kolek, the right-hander's velocity is commonly discussed.
Law also writes Kolek "has two plus pitches and the size and build for 200 innings."
The Marlins often refer to Kolek as a front of the rotation starter. Even if he ends up being a third or fourth option in the rotation, the organization could feel like it had success with its first round pick.
Why things might not turn out ideally
In an ideal world, Kolek would be the front to middle of the rotation arm the Marlins hoped he would turn into. That is still realistic, but it would take some work.
Sure, Kolek boasts a fastball that routinely reaches 100 mph. But he has not proven he can have command of it consistently. He also experimented with a curveball instead of using a slider in 2015. That did not appear to make much of a difference.
Law suggests there is a "reliever risk" with regard to Kolek, which likely resulted in his low ranking. If a first round draft pick reaches the major leagues as a reliever, it could still be considered a win for Miami. But given the expectations and velocity associated with Kolek, using him as a reliever might not prove to be the most beneficial.
There is still a chance for Kolek to bounce back and continue to develop. For the Marlins, that would be ideal.