With their final pick of the 2020 MLB Draft, the Marlins selected right-hander Kyle Hurt from USC. However, the club isn’t done acquiring American amateur talent. This year’s unique circumstances limited the draft to 160 total picks, leaving thousands of eligible players still available. They are now unrestricted free agents and began announcing deals Sunday morning.
Baseball America is tracking all MLB signings (subscription required). Those of you focused specifically on the Fish have come to the right page.
Keep in mind, individual signing bonuses are limited to $20,000 and all organized Minor League Baseball games this year are expected to be cancelled. Therefore, most undrafted players are content to return to school and develop there for another year and bet on themselves to receive more lucrative opportunities in 2021.
Yahoo’s Tim Brown reports that the most signable players include college seniors concerned about their age and playing time, injured pitchers seeking the best possible rehab situation and undersized right-handers. ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel projects plenty of “arm strength relievers” to make the leap, focusing on thin farm systems that they could rise through quickly (a preference that works against the Marlins in recruiting). Per Kyle Glaser of Baseball America, some teams are trying to woo underclassmen despite the slim chances of them accepting deals. Select high schoolers are also in play, as BA’s Carlos Collazo explains.
Director of amateur scouting DJ Svihlik said Friday that he believes the Marlins will sign no more than 10 players. He’s specifically seeking a catcher to address arguably the weakest position in their otherwise stacked farm system.
See below for Marlins updates and analysis of each undrafted addition.
June 19, 3:52 p.m. ET
No love for Velez, Norwood or Easley in Baseball America’s ranking of top 20 undrafted free agent signings so far (subscription required). But there’s still lots of time for the Marlins to make a splash. MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis explains that while draft picks have an Aug. 1 deadline to agree to terms with their respective teams, undrafted players remain eligible to sign until they officially return to school for the 2020-21 academic year.
June 17, 8:00 p.m. ET
SIGNED!— Air Force Baseball (@AF_Baseball) June 17, 2020
Congrats to Ashton Easley (@easleyashton), who will be continuing his baseball career with the Miami @Marlins organization!
: https://t.co/6n4LsJV4C7#LetsFly #FlyFightWin pic.twitter.com/Hnh7drZ43C
Air Force outfielder Ashton Easley has signed with the Marlins. He entered 2020 as a co-captain of the team and arrived at the academy as an accomplished two-sport athlete (baseball and football). Easley had a .301/.364/.512 slash line in 165 career NCAA games and went an extremely efficient 59-68 on stolen base attempts. He also made 10 collegiate appearances as a relief pitcher, although the results were discouraging (12.11 ERA, 2.17 WHIP in 9.2 IP)
Like Velez and Norwood before him, Easley wasn’t ranked among the Baseball America Top 500 draft prospects.
This signing reunites him with fellow Air Force grad Nic Ready (23rd-round pick in 2019 draft).
June 16, 3:25 p.m. ET
Finally, a position player!
Infielder Brett Norwood began his collegiate career at South Florida State College before matriculating to VCU for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He has received the maximum $20,000 signing bonus from the Marlins, according to Mason McRae of Prospects 365. Norwood has confirmed the deal on his Instagram account.
“Words can’t describe how surreal this feeling is. So thankful to the Marlins for this opportunity! Can’t wait to take these next steps of my baseball career and continue to turn dreams into realities.”
The lefty swing of new Marlins infielder Brett Norwood pic.twitter.com/vEdsxMZEjf— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) June 16, 2020
Norwood received Atlantic 10 All-Conference Second Team honors for his junior campaign. He wasn’t included among Baseball America’s Top 500 draft prospects, but McRae ranked him 491st. Despite gaining some shortstop experience in 2020, he’s more likely to play third base in the pros.
The 5-foot-10 left-handed batter turns 23 in August.
June 16, 11:23 a.m. ET
Midway through the third day of the undrafted signing period, Velez remains the only player to finalize his deal with the Marlins. However, a league source tells Fish Stripes that the team has agreed to multiple other deals that will be made official upon the completion of their physicals.
June 15, 3:00 p.m. ET
Baseball America reports that 24 of 30 MLB teams have made at least one signing thus far.
The Marlins are expected to finalize more moves before the end of the week, per Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.
June 14, 6:15 p.m. ET
The 23-year-old senior attended Hillsborough Community College prior to arriving at FSU. He dominated for the Seminoles during the abbreviated 2020 NCAA season.
We are still awaiting confirmation about his signing bonus amount.
Velez threw this bullpen session a few days prior to the draft.