The 2019 MLB Draft will be the Miami Marlins’ second draft under the Derek Jeter regime. In the first draft, the Fish focused up the middle by drafting outfielder Connor Scott, middle infielder Osiris Johnson and catcher Will Banfield during the early rounds.
In order to acquire even more impact talent this time around, the Marlins should put a special emphasis on scouting their own backyard. They are surrounded by some of the top high school prospects and colleges in the country. The state of Florida is a hot bed for baseball and has produced some of the best players in the game at all levels.
Here are three 2019 MLB draft eligible players from the Miami Hurricanes who could hear their names get called by the Marlins.
1. RHP Gregory Veliz
The top MLB Draft prospect from the University of Miami is their junior right-handed pitcher Gregory Veliz. The Key West native has made an impact on the Canes since his freshman year, finishing that season with a 6-4 record and a 3.38 ERA in 12 appearances. He pitched 61.1 innings, 66 strikeouts and a .166 opponent batting average. Veliz’s sophomore season was cut short due to injury but still posted good numbers. He had appeared in five games with a 3.12 ERA and striking out 26 in 17 1⁄3 innings pitched.
Over the summer, Veliz pitched in the Cape Cod league and dominated for the Chatham Anglers. The Anglers used the Miami pitcher as their closer. He recorded 32 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched. Veliz also posted a 2.57 ERA and four saves in thirteen outings and was even named to the East Division All-Star Team.
Gregory Veliz is an intriguing prospect for the Miami Marlins and the rest of the MLB. Veliz is a pitcher with a big fastball that sits around 92-95 and tops out at 97 mph. He has a solid changeup but still needs to work on his off-speed pitches. The South Floridian probably projects more out of the bullpen than as a starter at the next level. If he has a big season for the Canes, Veliz could play himself into the second day of 2019 MLB Draft.
2. RHP Evan McKendry
Another junior right-handed pitcher for the Miami Hurricanes who could see themselves getting drafted the Marlins is Evan McKendry. The North Broward Prep graduate has pitched well in his collegiate career and is coming off a breakout season. McKendry established himself as one of Miami’s best arms and got into their weekend rotation in the middle of the season. As a freshman, McKendry was used mostly out of the bullpen, but all got some starts. He appeared in eighteen games and started in seven. McKendry posted a 4-2 record with a 4.10 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 63 2⁄3 innings pitched. In his sophomore season, McKendry became one of the top arms for Miami and in the ACC. He had a 7-6 record with a 3.52 ERA and a team-high 114 strikeouts in 87 innings pitched.
Third time’s the charm!— Canes Baseball (@CanesBaseball) March 26, 2018
Evan McKendry takes home his THIRD ACC Pitcher of the Week award of the season. pic.twitter.com/nbmRzTTa4q
Out of high school, Evan McKendry was the 236th ranked high school prospect and the 76th ranked right-handed pitcher in the country. He was also the 43rd ranked prospect and 15th ranked right-handed pitcher in the state of Florida. In his high school career, McKendry finished had a 2.26 ERA with 180 strikeouts in 164 innings pitched. He was also a 2016 First Team All-Dade pitcher.
Unlike Gregory Veliz, Evan McKendry doesn’t solely rely on his fastball. McKendry has a solid fastball that sits in the low 90s and tops out at 95 mph. He has good command on his fastball and has some life in the bottom half of the zone. His best off-speed pitch is his 12-6 curveball. It has some nice depth but can still improve on it. McKendry will most likely get drafted in the middle rounds.
3. C Michael Amditis
Michael Amditis came to UM with high expectations and even started as a freshman. His first year was cut short due to a broken bone that ended his season. Amditis had a .357 batting average with three RBIs and an .867 OPS in six games. He continued to have issues with injuries and was sidelined for the month with a bone bruise. He finished his redshirt-freshman season with a .225 batting average, five doubles and fourteen RBIs.
Over the summer, Amditis played in the Cape Cod League with the Wareham Gateman. Amditis batted .333 in eight games for the Gatemen and helped with the Gateman’s eighth championship.
The Boca Raton native could be in for a breakout season if he can stay healthy. Amditis has a lot of tools that can make him successful in the pros. He has a lot of power potential and is solid behind the plate. The chances of Amditis getting drafted aren’t very high, and even if he does, he has two more years of eligibility. Michael Amditis was also drafted back in high school in the 37th round by the Cleveland Indians in the 2016 MLB Draft.