The 2020 MLB Draft will be the Miami Marlins’ third draft under the Derek Jeter regime. In the first two draft, the Fish focused on getting hitters like JJ Bleday, Connor Scott, Kameron Misner, Nasim Nunez and Osiris Johnson 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 2020 MLB draft eligible players from the Miami Hurricanes who could hear their names get called by the Marlins.
1. RHP Slade Cecconi
Talk about an outstanding performance‼️ Miami’s Slade Cecconi as a freshman goes into postseason Dudy Noble and throws 7 strong innings. pic.twitter.com/GifQBh9tMj— 11Point7: The College Baseball Podcast (@11point7) June 3, 2019
Slade Cecconi is a rare true sophomore that is eligible for the 2020 MLB Draft; Cecconi is currently 20 years old, but will be 21 shortly after the draft. The former Under Armour and Perfect Game All-American was one of the top freshmen pitchers in the country last season. He made seventeen appearances and started in 13 of them. He had a 5-4 record with a 4.16 ERA, 18 walks and 89 strikeouts in 80 innings pitched. After his freshman season, Cecconi was named to Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s 2018 Freshman All-American Team.
Over the summer, Slade Cecconi worked out to fill in his large frame and add some solid weight. His fastball velocity has made a jump from last season to fall ball. That progress makes it all the more likely that he could make his way to professional baseball after this college season.
Cecconi’s best pitch is his fastball, which sits in the low to mid-90s. Miami’s pitching coach J.D. Arteaga told D1 Baseball, “Slade was throwing between 95 and 99 this fall.” His biggest issue last season was his velocity would drop off as he went deeper into games. His best offspeed pitch is his slider, reaching 87 mph with some bite to it. He also throws a lot of strikes, but sometimes misses over the plate and gets hit. Cecconi has a changeup and curveball he’s currently trying to improve. If the Marlins want to go after a pitcher with their second-round pick, Cecconi could be the arm they’re looking for.
2. SS Freddy Zamora
Miami shortstop Freddy Zamora is among the top middle infielders in the 2020 MLB Draft. The Miami native has been a starter for the Canes since he arrived on campus in 2018. During his Miami career, Zamora has been one of the most consistent players on their roster. He played and started in all 54 games as a freshman. He batted .303 with 12 doubles, four triples, one home run, 28 RBIs and a .800 OPS. Zamora was named to the 2018 Freshmen All-American on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. As a sophomore, Zamora’s power numbers started to improve—he batted .296 with 12 doubles, six home runs, 46 RBIs and had a .840 OPS.
Bottom of the 9th, losing 5-4, 3-2 count, 2 outs.— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) March 10, 2019
Miami was down to their final strike and Freddy Zamora delivered! (via @CanesBaseball) pic.twitter.com/qBbIcZt4MX
Over the summer, Freddy Zamora was expected to play for the Chatham Anglers in the Cape Cod League. He ended up working on his game independently instead.
Zamora is a very flashy infielder with lots of tools to be successful at the next level. While his offense has been good since arriving at Miami, Zamora continues to struggle defensively. He has committed 39 errors in his collegiate career at Miami. Some of his issues can easily be fixed, but he needs to get more consistent with the glove. He’s an average runner but also a smart baserunner and has shown he’s capable of stealing bases. The Miami Marlins won’t use their #3 overall pick on him, but he could be a candidate for their second-round pick or their Competitive Balance Round B pick.
3. 1B Alex Toral
Coming out of high school, many people didn’t think that Alex Toral would end up at Miami. He was the 20th-ranked player and #1 ranked first baseman in the country. He ended going undrafted and has spent the last two years at Miami. As a freshman, Toral struggled as he batted .161 with four doubles, a home run, eleven RBIs and a .559 OPS.
BLAST OFF— FOX Sports South (@FOXSportsSouth) May 24, 2019
Home run No. 2️⃣2️⃣ for Alex Toral.@CanesBaseball | @ACCBaseball pic.twitter.com/JRdEjo63wk
However, Toral turned it around in a big way as a sophomore. Toral finished his sophomore season with a .293 batting average, 24 home runs, 67 RBIs and a 1.056 OPS. He led the ACC in home runs and was also named 2019 All-Starkville Regional Team.
Over the summer, Alex Toral went to play for the Chatham Anglers in the Cape Cod Baseball League. Toral didn’t have the same success as he did in Miami as he batted .200 with four doubles, two home runs and 17 RBIs in 34 games.
Outside of Lewin Díaz, the Miami Marlins really don’t have a top first baseman prospect. They need to add some depth at the position and Alex Toral is one of the top first baseman in the 2020 MLB Draft. Arizona State’s Spencer Torkelson is very high on Miami’s radar but might not be available with the third pick.
If Torkelson is gone, Toral could be the next first baseman on their draft board. He has big time power and was able to hit for contact this season. He also adds some depth at first base in the Marlins farm system. The Marlins might consider taking him with their second-round pick or their Competitive Balance Round B pick.