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 Nuñez 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 Florida State Seminoles who could hear their names get called by the Marlins.
1. RHP CJ Van Eyk
Out of high school, CJ Van Eyk was the 57th-ranked prospect and 19th -ranked right-handed pitcher in the class of 2017. Many scouts believed he would get drafted high in the 2017 MLB Draft and not attend Florida State. Van Eyk missed most of his senior season due to arm soreness and fell in the draft. He ended up going to Florida State and has been one of the top pitchers in the ACC.
With a win tonight, it will be #FSU’s 8th straight win with CJ Van Eyk on the hill. One word can describe CJ’s start tonight: bulldog. He was the one true bulldog at Foley Field tonight. @cjvaneyk17 final line: 8 IP, 9 H, 0 BB, 9 K’s, 3 ER, 77/104 strikes pic.twitter.com/HRhQSfsRxF— Brett (@brettpn) June 2, 2019
As a freshman, Van Eyk appeared in 19 games and started in five. He had a 7-0 record with a 2.86 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 56 2⁄3 innings pitched. He was named the 2017 ACC All-Freshman Team. As a sophomore, Van Eyk got in the rotation and started in 18 games. He had a 10-4 record with a 3.81 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 99 1⁄3 innings pitched.
Over the summer, CJ Van Eyk was expected to play for the Falmouth Commodores in the Cape Cod League. However, he never made it there and didn’t play for the summer.
This will very likely be Van Eyk’s final season at Florida State. He has been a huge contributor to the Noles since he’s arrived on campus. Van Eyk will be the ace of Florida State’s staff as they’ll try to make another Omaha run. Van Eyk has a good fastball that sits 92-94 and tops out at around 96 mph.
His curveball and changeup are considered to be his best two pitches. His 12-6 curveball might be the best in the draft as he has good command and lots of downward bite to it. His changeup is a very effective pitch but still has some room for improvement. MLB Pipeline has him has the No. 20 prospect in the draft. If he falls all the way to the second round, this is a guy the Fish must consider drafting.
2. SS Nander De Sedas
Nander De Sedas is one of a few sophomore that will be eligible for the 2020 MLB Draft. Out of high school, Nander De Sedas was the sixth-ranked prospect and the second ranked shortstop in the country. De Sedas fell a ton as he was selected in the 29th-round by the Milwaukee Brewers. However, De Sedas had already announced he would be going to Florida State before he was even drafted. As a freshman, De Sedas played and started in 62 games. Nander De Sedas didn’t have the freshman season many were hoping for. He ended up batting .231 with eight doubles, four home runs and 32 RBIs.
Over the summer, Nander De Sedas played for the Marthas Vineyard Sharks in the New England Collegiate Baseball League. De Sedas batted .242 with six doubles, three home runs and 15 RBIs during the season. He had more success in the playoffs as he batted .286 with two doubles, two home runs and had a 1.015 OPS.
Nander De Sedas is a very talented prospect with lots of tools but hasn’t put it all together at Florida State yet. He’s got plus speed, a great arm and some power. He’s a switch-hitting middle infielder that can probably play both second base and shortstop at the next level. The Marlins have a lot of quality shortstop prospects such as Jazz Chisholm, José Devers, Nasim Nuñez
and others. They don’t have a lot of second base prospects as Isan Daz was really their only 50-grade or better type before graduating to the majors. The Fish can probably wait until the second day of the MLB Draft to take Nander De Sedas and could use their third- or fourth-round pick on him.
3. RHP Conor Grady
RHP Conor Grady (2020 elig. FL) coming in relief for #FSU sitting 90-92 with occ. cutting action. Full AA and sharp SL (83) to go with well located FBs. https://t.co/Lhkgk9z5Cg pic.twitter.com/4qZJTSInCd— Gregory Gerard (@GGerardPG) April 7, 2018
The last Florida State Seminoles on this list is right-handed pitcher Conor Grady. Out of high school, Grady was the 151st-ranked prospect and the 53rd-ranked right-handed pitcher in the country. In his first two seasons at Florida State, Grady has been one of their most reliable relief pitchers. As a freshman, Conor Grady made 22 appearances. He had a 4-3 record with a 4.34 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 29 innings pitched. As a sophomore, Grady made 25 appearances and started in eight of them. He had a 9-6 record with a 3.64 ERA, 71 strikeouts in 64 1⁄3 innings pitched and a .228 opponent batting average. Grady is expected to be the Saturday or Sunday starter in Florida State’s rotation.
Over the summer, Conor Grady was expected to play for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks in the Cape Cod League. However, he never showed up and didn’t play with the Harbor Hawks.
Conor Grady has been a very solid pitcher for the Seminoles but doesn’t have anything that wows scouts. His fastball sits in the low 90s and tops out at 93 mph. He also has good command on his fastball and can throw it from both sides of the plate. He has a solid slider and is currently developing a changeup. Grady probably projects better as a relief pitcher at the next level and could be a solid pick up for the Marlins. Unless Grady has a big junior season, he’ll likely get drafted on the third day of the 2020 MLB Draft. He might even decide to go back to school depending on what type of season he has.