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Marlins 1st Round Pick Retrospective and Future

What the Fish have done in the past, and what they are projected to do this June.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

June 12 cannot come soon enough for the Marlins front office. It’s no secret the Marlins have what is arguably the worst farm system in the league. The good news is there’s really nowhere to go but up.

With the draft still roughly two months away, there is still plenty of games to be played that will assuredly move players up and down the draft room big boards. However, with more than half of the high school and college season already completed, it’s around the time when the picture begins to become a little more clear. Although this draft class is highly unusual, partially because of high velocity prep arms and lack of athletic college position players, it can’t hurt to speculate where the Fish will go with their 1st pick (13th overall) this year.

To start, let’s take a look at the 1st round picks over the last 10 years:


Name Year Pick # Schooling Position Level now With the Marlins?
Name Year Pick # Schooling Position Level now With the Marlins?
Braxton Garrett 2016 7 Prep LHP GCL Yes
Josh Naylor 2015 12 Prep 1B A+ No
Tyler Kolek 2014 2 Prep RHP A Yes
Colin Moran 2013 6 College 3B AAA No
Andrew Heaney 2012 9 College LHP MLB No
Jose Fernandez 2011 14 Prep RHP N/A N/A
Christian Yelich 2010 23 Prep OF MLB Yes
Chad James 2009 18 Prep LHP AA No
Kyle Skipworth 2008 6 Prep C AAA No
Matt Dominguez 2007 12 Prep 3B AAA No
Brett Sinkbeil 2006 19 College RHP Retired No

There’s a lot of takeaways from that table. Firstly and perhaps most importantly, the Marlins like to draft prep players. Eight of the ten last first round picks have been from high schools. Four of those were prep pitchers, which are notorious for carrying the most risk. The other four prep hitters were known for having a strong bat and the tools of being an athletic hitter. The two most recent non-pitcher selections, Josh Naylor and Colin Moran, were known especially for their power.

Secondly, only four of the above players impacted or have a chance at producing for the organization at the Major League level. Outside of the tragedy that was Fernandez’s death, only Christian Yelich, Tyler Kolek, and Braxton Garrett remain in the organization. Yelich is obviously a phenomenal talent and Garrett has promise, as he is already listed as a consensus top 100 prospect. Tyler Kolek has struggled to stay on the field, undergoing Tommy John surgery last year and still has yet to debut in the minor leagues this year. Although he is still just 21 years old, he has a long road before he can make an impact.

With the brief retrospective out of the way, let’s look at where the Marlins might being going with their selection this year.

Baseball America recently released their Mock Draft 2.0 in which they pegged University of Houston’s Friday night starter Seth Romero going to the Marlins, noting that his high strikeout rates are slightly diminished by his off-field issues (he has been suspended for both conduct detrimental for the team and for violation of university and athletic department policies). However, his talent may push him higher up on the draft boards.

One possible fit for the Marlins would be Virginia first baseman Pavin Smith. Draft history has told us that when the Marlins select non-pitchers, they tend to be those with offensive prowess. Smith fits the mold, mixing power with good bat-to-ball skills. Another fit is prep LHP MacKenzie Gore, who some consider the polished high school arm in the draft. However, both of these picks may not fall all the way back to the 13th slot.

Three of the last five 1st round selections have already been traded away. But let’s imagine the Marlins front office is believes it’s time to get some minor league depth and home grow some of the incoming talent. So, with the farm system rebuild beginning on June 12th, how would you like to see the Marlins spend their 1st pick in the draft this year? If you have a favorite top prospect you think the Marlins should take, be sure to comment who and why.


How should the Marlins spend their 1st round pick?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Prep pitcher
    (3 votes)
  • 8%
    Prep position player
    (3 votes)
  • 52%
    College pitcher
    (19 votes)
  • 30%
    College position player
    (11 votes)
36 votes total Vote Now