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 Marlins got two future starters in the 2010 Draft, and they did so again in 2011. Here’s how it all went down.
First Round: RHP Jose Fernandez (Pick #14) - Braulio Alonso HS (FL)
Stats with Marlins: 76 Starts, 471.1 IP, 2.58 ERA, 1.054 WHIP, 589 K, 140 BB
To the delight of the Marlins’ front office, the hometown, cuban-born kid fell to No. 14 in the 2011 MLB Draft. Miami took Jose Fernandez as a no-brainer of a choice.
Fernandez blew threw the minors and made it to the major leagues in 2013, a year in which he made 28 starts, posted a 2.19 ERA, made the All-Star team, came in third in NL Cy Young Award voting and won the NL Rookie of the Year Award. The young righty continued his dominance in 2014, but then had to go through Tommy John Surgery and only made 19 starts over the next two seasons. However, Fernandez came back in 2016 and again made the All-Star team.
But, 2016 would be the year that the star’s career and life would end in tragedy after a boating accident took his life on September 25. The way the organization, the city of Miami, and all of Major League Baseball rallied together to show their love for Fernandez really proved how much he meant to the Marlins.
Second Round: LHP Adam Conley (Pick #72) - Washington State
Stats with Marlins: 47 App, 42 Starts, 4.28 ERA, 1.389 WHIP, 206 K, 99 BB
The Marlins continued to look for pitching early in the draft, and they went after college lefty Adam Conley in the second round. Conley moved slowly through the minors and an ERA of 5.95 between Single-A and Triple-A in 2014 set him back a bit.
However, the lefty bounced back in 2015, making his major league debut and 11 starts that season. Conley returned the starting rotation in 2016, posting a 3.85 ERA in 25 starts.
Conley again started 2017 in the rotation, but has since been demoted to Triple-A after allowing 24 earned runs in six starts at the big league level. The left-hander should, however, be back with the Marlins at some point this season and is a young starter that the team can still be excited about.
Who they should have drafted: LHP Daniel Norris (Pick #74)
Third Round: SS Connor Barron (Pick #102) - Sumrall HS (MS)
Grade: F (Did not sign)
After drafting two pitchers in the first two rounds, the Marlins went with high school shortstop Conner Barron in the third round. Barron, however, decided not to sign with the Marlins and instead play college baseball at Southern Miss.
The shortstop hit only .255 in four seasons with the Golden Eagles, and was not taken in the 2015 MLB Draft. Barron never signed with a major league organization, as the risk to go school instead of signing with the Marlins did not pay off.
Who they should have drafted: RHP Matt Andriese (Pick #112)
Best Value Pick: C Austin Barnes (Round 9, Pick #283) - Arizona State
After drafting Austin Barnes in 2011, the Marlins were almost ready to bring him to the big leagues in 2014 as he was hitting .304 in Double-A. However, Miami instead used him as a trade piece, sending him to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the package deal for Dee Gordon, Dan Haren and Miguel Rojas.
Barnes has since been in and out of the big leagues with the Dodgers, so far appearing in 69 games and making 148 plate appearances over three seasons. He has hit .226 with a .718 OPS in the big leagues since heading to Los Angeles. Despite never appearing for the Marlins, Barnes was an important piece in bringing two key 2017 infielders (Gordon and Rojas) to the organization.