Marlins first round draft pick Braxton Garrett won’t pitch in a minor league game this season because the club wants to be extra cautious with the high school lefty, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.
"Garrett is fine," Marlins executive Marc Delpiano said. "We are taking it slow because he had never been built up. Plan is for him to pitch in [instructional league]."
Garrett has a high-80s to mid-90s fastball but is known for his plus curveball. After the Marlins traded Josh Naylor in the Andrew Cashner deal with the Padres, MLB.com deemed Garrett the best prospect in Miami’s minor league system.
The Marlins might be hesitant to have high draft picks start pitching within their minor league system because of Tyler Kolek’s injury. Kolek was drafted and signed out of high school and known for his fastball velocity. His progress was delayed as a result of season-ending Tommy John surgery, though.
Since minor league seasons are shorter than major league campaigns, there might not have been much value to having Garrett pitching in the minors immediately. It seems the Marlins are taking the right approach with Garrett, who is projected to join the Marlins rotation in 2020.