With the 149th pick in the fifth round of 2017 MLB Draft, the Marlins selected RHP Ryan Lillie out of the University of California-Riverside.
Lillie spent his first two seasons at UC-Riverside as a reliever and saw mixed results. In 55.1 innings over those two seasons, the righty walked 30 batters as the Highlanders’ closer. However, in 2017, Lillie made his way into the rotation, making 10 appearance out of the bullpen along with 10 starts.
His ERA was still at an unimpressive 4.69, but he ended up striking out 80 batters and walking only 20 in 71.1 innings. As he comes into the Miami organization, the Marlins will most likely try to mold him into a starting pitcher, but don’t be surprised if Lillie ends up as a relief pitcher sooner than later.
Lillie, who is a converted catcher, displays a mid-90s fastball and a put-away slider that baffles right-handed hitters. The California native is still fully developing as a pitcher, so expect Lillie to only get better over time.
This might help you get to know the newest Marlin a little better.
And here’s a better look at his delivery.