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.
After hitting big on the pitchers they picked in 2011, the Marlins didn’t have so much luck in 2012. Here’s how it all went down.
First Round: LHP Andrew Heaney (Pick #9) - Oklahoma State
Stats with Marlins: 7 App, 5 Starts, 29.1 IP, 5.83 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 20 K, 7 BB
Andrew Heaney was picked in the 24th round by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2009 Draft, but he decided not to sign and go to Oklahoma State instead. The left-hander struggled in his first two college seasons but then dominated in his draft-eligible junior year, posting a 1.60 ERA with 10.65 K/9 in 15 starts.
The great year was enough for the Marlins to pick Heaney ninth overall, and he quickly had success in the minor leagues. The lefty’s 1.68 ERA at Single-A and Double-A in 2013 earned him a big league call up the next season.
Heaney didn’t fair too well in his first five big league starts, but he was still considered a highly-coveted prospect and the Marlins took advantage of that. In December of 2014, Miami traded Heaney, along with Austin Barnes, Chris Hatcher and Enrique Hernandez to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Dee Gordon, Dan Haren and Miguel Rojas.
The Dodgers didn’t keep him for long, however, as they immediately flipped Heaney to the Angels for Howie Kendrick. Heaney has since had some success with the Angels, but he is currently out and may miss the entire 2017 season after he had Tommy John Surgery.
Despite Heaney making only five starts for the Marlins, he did help bring them Dee Gordon and Miguel Rojas. However, Heaney’s 3.73 FIP and 1.7 WAR in 2015 with the Angels showed that the Marlins are missing out on a guy who could have been an important part of their starting rotation.
Who they should have drafted: SS Corey Seager (Pick #18)
Second Round: Lost in Free Agency
As a result of the Marlins signing Jose Reyes to a six-year, $106 million deal in December of 2011, the team had to give up a draft pick to the Mets as compensation. The pick would turn out to be Miami’s 2012 second round pick, which went to the Mets because Reyes was a Type-A free agent.
The Mets used the No. 71 overall pick to draft infielder Matt Reynolds out of Arkansas. Reynolds worked his way slowly through the minor leagues before finally making it to the Show in 2015. The 26 year old has since 120 plate appearance for the Mets and has slashed .218/.271/.400.
Third Round: SS Avery Romero (Pick #104) - Pedro Menendez HS (FL)
With what was their second pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, the Marlins took the shortstop from St. John’s County, Avery Romero. The young infielder struggled with the bat early in his time in the minors, but the Marlins still thought of him as a high prospect.
He stuck through the system all the way through the 2016 season, but the bat just never came around. Romero hit .272 in five minor league seasons with the Marlins, but never found much power, and the defense wasn’t strong enough to warrant a call-up.
Romero played in the Puerto Rican Winter League last year, but did not return to the Marlins system this season. He goes down as another failed high draft pick for the Miami organization.
Who they should have drafted: OF Andrew Toles (Pick #119)
Best Value Pick: RHP Nick Wittgren (Round 9, Pick #287) - Purdue
Stats with Marlins: 67 App, 74.1 IP, 3.15 ERA, 1.103 WHIP, 64 K, 15 BB
Nick Wittgren pitched two dominant seasons at Purdue, but was picked in a lower round because he was a full-time reliever in college. So, the Marlins took advantage and selected Wittgren, and the righty immediately made a splash in the minor leagues.
Wittgren made it to Triple-A in 2015 and he dominated there with an ERA under three, earning himself a chance in the big leagues in 2016. Since then, Wittgren has yet to become a go-to reliever for the Marlins, but he has produced solid numbers and has been able to stick in the majors this season.