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Marlins 2020 MLB Draft Targets: FIU Panthers

Scouting three of the top Florida International University players heading into the 2020 college baseball season.

COLLEGE BASEBALL: FEB 26 Kent State at FIU Photo by Samuel Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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 Peyton Burdick 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 and college prospects 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 FIU Panthers who could hear their names get called by the Marlins.

1. LHP/1B Logan Allen

Out of high school, Logan Allen was a Perfect Game All-American, the 49th-ranked prospect and eighth-ranked left-handed pitcher in the Class of 2017. Allen was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 19th round but decided to honor his commitment to FIU. As a freshman, he was one of the top freshmen and utility players in the NCAA. He appeared in 51 games and started in 48. As a pitcher, Allen had a 5-5 record with a 3.85 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 74 innings pitched. He also batted .309 with five doubles, two home runs and 16 RBIs.

As a sophomore, Allen was one of the nation’s top pitchers. He had a 4-6 record with a 3.11 ERA and 120 strikeouts in 84 innings pitched. At the plate, he batted .276 with three doubles, three home runs and had a .755 OPS.

Over the summer, Logan Allen played for the U.S.A Collegiate National Team. He had a 0-1 record with a 10.80 ERA and 11 strikeouts in ten innings pitched. Allen also pitched for the Harwich Mariners in the Cape Cod League. In three starts, Allen had a 2-0 record with a 0.00 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 15 innings pitched.

Florida International University has a lot of top, young talent in their roster with Logan Allen being the best one. He projects to be a pitcher at the next level, but has shown he can hit as well. He has an average fastball that sits in the low 90s and tops out at 93 mph. His best pitch is his changeup which also projects to be one of the top changeups in the draft. The 21-year-old has good command of his pitches and knows how to set up hitters. MLB Pipeline has him as the 62nd-ranked overall draft prospect. Allen could be a late day one pick for the Fish as they would add another top left-handed pitcher in their loaded farm system.

2. C José García

José García is a junior and starting catcher for the FIU Panthers. Out of high school, García was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 38th round. He’s one of the best pure power hitters in the Conference USA. García has also been a starter since he arrived on FIU’s campus. As a freshman, García batted .285 with six doubles, eleven home runs, 43 RBIs and had a .936 OPS. García was named C-USA Freshman of the Year and named Freshman All-American on Perfect Game, Collegiate Baseball and NCBWA. As a sophomore, he batted .264 with eight doubles, 13 home runs, 38 RBIs and had a .886 OPS.

Over the summer, José García didn’t play for any teams and prepared for the 2020 season.

García could be another power hitter the Miami Marlins grab from FIU. In the 2019 MLB Draft, the Marlins selected Lorenzo Hampton Jr. from FIU in the 28th round. Hampton batted .280 with seven doubles and two home runs in the Gulf Coast League.

José García would be a nice addition to the Marlins farm system. Besides power, he has a good arm behind the plate and can hit for contact. If the Marlins do take him, García probably projects to be a late day two or early day three pick.

3. SS Derek Cartaya

The last FIU Panthers on this list is middle infielder Derek Cartaya. The Somerset Academy graduate has been a key contributor for the Panthers at the plate and on the field. As a freshman, Cartaya struggled as he only batted .178 with sixteen hits and eight walks. He progressed in his sophomore campaign, earning a starting role and serving as leadoff hitter for the Panthers. Cartaya batted .342 with seven doubles, 13 RBIs and had a .830 OPS. As a junior, Cartaya played in 53 games and started in 49. He batted .316 with 11 doubles, 28 RBIs, 20 stolen bases and a .982 fielding percentage.

Over the summer, Cartaya played for the West Boca Snappers in the South Florida Collegiate Baseball League. He had a terrific summer with the Snappers, batting .395 with 30 hits, four doubles, 14 stolen bases with a .884 OPS in 25 games. Cartaya was named First Team SFCBL and was the league’s MVP.

Derek Cartaya is one of the leaders for the FIU Panthers. He has the skills to play at the next level but there’s one thing that may stand in his way: his size. Cartaya is a 5’5”, 135-pound middle infielder. Scouts may get turned off by his height but that doesn’t matter if you watch Cartaya play. He’s a great leader and hustles like nobody else on their team. He’s a great contact hitter and is a threat on the bases. Cartaya is also an elite defensive second baseman capable of playing some shortstop.

He’ll be a day three pick. This is an underrated and undervalued player who’s just a long fly ball away from Marlins Park.