In this Marlins Draft Recap series, I will break down the last 10 drafts for the Miami Marlins and look at the best and worst picks as we get ready for the 2017 MLB Draft.
The 2008 Draft wasn’t a good one for the Marlins, as none of the picks are still with Miami in the major leagues and only a few are still in the pros at all. Here’s how it all went down.
First Round: C Kyle Skipworth (Pick #6) - Patriot HS (CA)
Stats with Marlins: 4 Games, 4 PA, 0-for-3, BB, K
Where he is now: Free Agent (Spent 2016 in Double-A and Triple-A with the Reds)
2016 Stats (AAA, AA): 35 Games, 123 PA, .151 AVG, .538 OPS, 4 HR, 12 RBI
The Marlins were still looking for the catcher of the future, and so in 2008 they drafted Kyle Skipworth, who was “arguably the best catcher in the draft” according to MLB.com (despite Buster Posey being taken just pick earlier). Skipworth rose through the minor league ranks slowly, never hitting over .248 in a season.
During spring training in 2013, Skipworth finally got his first true shot to make the major league roster, but lost the battle for the backup catcher spot to Miguel Olivo. The left-handed hitter finally got his shot in the big leagues later that season, but it was short-lived. Skipworth was quickly sent back down after four games without ever getting his first big league hit.
The Marlins let Skipworth walk as a free agent after the 2014 season and he signed with the Cincinnati Reds, but he never again appeared in the major leagues. After playing two seasons in the Reds’ system, Skipworth became a free agent in the offseason, and has yet to sign with another organization.
Who they should have drafted: RHP Gerrit Cole (Pick #28)
Second Round: LHP Brad Hand (Pick #52) - Chaska HS (MN)
Stats with Marlins: 90 Appearances, 43 Starts, 4.71 ERA, 1.424 WHIP, 5.9 K/9
Where he is now: San Diego Padres (Bullpen)
2017 Stats: 22 Appearances, 26 IP, 1.73 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 12.1 K/9
Looking for pitching, as most teams are every year, the Marlins picked left-handed pitcher Brad Hand in the second round. He was an exciting lefty coming out of high school, and he had success in his first few seasons in the minors. Hand then made his major league debut on June 7, 2011 and he dazzled Braves over six innings, allowing just one run on one hit and striking out six.
Hand made 11 more starts that season, finishing the year with a 4.20 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in 60 innings. Despite the success, Hand only made eight appearances with the Marlins over the next two seasons, and didn’t get back with the big league club permanently until 2014.
The lefty made 12 starts and 16 appearances out of the bullpen in 2014 and 2015, but couldn’t find the same success he had in 2011. At the start of the 2016 season, the Marlins placed Hand on waivers, and he was claimed by the San Diego Padres. Hand has been in the big leagues with the Padres ever since and has been arguably their most important reliever.
Hand has made 104 appearances out of the bullpen over the last two seasons for the Padres, pitching to a 2.65 ERA and 1.08 WHIP while striking out 11.4 batters per nine innings. With the Padres struggling, the former Marlin should be a prime candidate to be traded to a contender at the trade deadline.
Who they should have drafted: OF Charlie Blackmon (Pick #72)
Third Round: LHP Edgar Olmos (Pick #83) - Birmingham HS (CA)
Stats with Marlins: 5 Appearances, 5 IP, 7.20 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, 2 K, 3 BB
Where he is now: Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox Triple-A)
2017 Stats (AAA): 10 Appearances, 17.2 IP, 3.57 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 7.1 K/9
Edgar Olmos was another intriguing left-hander out of high school for the Marlins, but it took him a while to finally get to the major leagues. He made his first appearance with the Marlins in 2013, but he struggled in five appearances, and was quickly sent back to the minors.
The Marlins placed him on waivers after the 2014 season, and he was claimed by the Mariners, who gave him one more shot in the big leagues. In 14 innings with the Mariners in 2015, Olmos gave up seven earned runs and walked eight, and was quickly designated for assignment.
Olmos has bounced around the minor leagues since then, and signed a minor league contract with the Red Sox this offseason as he still tries to get back to the big leagues.
Who they should have drafted: RHP Craig Kimbrel (Pick #96)
Best Value Pick: RHP Tom Koehler (Round 18, Pick #538) - Stony Brook
Tom Koehler had five productive seasons in the minor leagues and finally made his major league debut as a September call-up in 2012. After starting the 2013 season in Triple-A, Koehler was quickly called up to be a part of the Marlins’ rotation.
He has stuck in that rotation ever since, being one of the more consistent performers for Miami in that time frame. However, Koehler may have pitched his last game with the Marlins this season, as there were rumors that he would be traded after being placed on the disabled list.
But, despite a poor ending, the Marlins got a very consistent starter out of an 18th-round draft pick.