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Our Noticias, 6/15/20: MLB negotiations halted; undrafted FA; 2021 mock draft

The Marlins welcomed Florida State left-hander Antonio Velez to their organization.


Another proposal bites the dust

Not a whole lot to say on this. MLB owners continue to ask that players accept discounted pay for the 2020 season; the players’ union has made other concessions, but is holding firm on their previously negotiated right to receive full pro-rata salaries.

Still no Opening Day date or specific season length to analyze.

Echoing Old Gator’s FanPost, commissioner Rob Manfred needs to intervene, and he will. But so much time has already been squandered. Morale among both the players and fans will be lower than during any other season of the past quarter-century.

Undrafted but not forgotten

With this year’s MLB Draft containing only 160 picks, there’s an unprecedented pool of undrafted players available. They officially became free agents on Sunday and most MLB teams scooped up at least one, including the Marlins. Their first signing was 23-year-old left-hander Antonio Velez out of Florida State University.

Born and raised in the state, Velez has a four-pitch mix and a delivery reminiscent of former major leaguer Vidal Nuño:

This addition continues a trend—the Fish used all six of their draft picks on pitchers, too. Velez will almost certainly be developed as a reliever.

More Miami signings are expected! Bookmark our undrafted free agent tracker to follow along.

Way-too-early 2021 mock

While we’re still adding to our 2020 MLB Draft coverage, Baseball America is already looking ahead to next year. Based on FanGraphs’ projected standings, BA’s Carlos Collazo assigns them the No. 4 overall pick in his 2021 mock draft (subscription required), using it on University of Miami catcher Adrian Del Castillo.

“His feel for hitting is exceptional,” Collazo writes. “His is a fairly complete offensive profile. If he can stick at catcher, that’s a cherry on top, but he’s also shown he has the athleticism to play in the outfield.”

They would be banking on him replicating the career of Charles Johnson, a fellow UM product who was the first-ever Marlins amateur draftee way back in 1992.

Sheff dishes on police assault, post-career harassment

Gary Sheffield Marlins

Now do you believe me?”

Throughout his Hall of Fame-caliber playing career, Gary Sheffield was known for both his extraordinary bat speed and surly attitude. It was difficult for teammates and media members to see him as a sympathetic figure, but as Americans are (finally) beginning to understand, any black man in this country is susceptible to being mistreated because of skin color.

For The Players’ Tribune, Sheffield shares several of his bad experiences with police, including one that happened alongside his uncle Dwight Gooden:

The unfortunate reality is that my stories aren’t unique. They’re not special or extraordinary, and neither am I. What happened to George Floyd could have easily—and far too often—happened to me or others.

What has made George Floyd’s death a defining moment in this country—what distinguishes it from countless others who were murdered and remain anonymous—was that this otherwise desensitized country actually saw it happen.

Black lives matter.

Walk-off links

  • Audio analysis of the all-pitching Marlins draft class on Earning Their Stripes and Fish On The Farm’s Swimming Upstream podcast.

  • Former Marlins right-handers Drew Rucinski (2.23 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 22.8 K% in 44.1 IP) and Dan Straily (2.08 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 26.2 K% in 47.2 IP) continue to thrive in the Korea Baseball Organization this season, while Odrisamer Despaigne has more pedestrian numbers (4.29 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 19.0 K% in 42.0 IP).