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Blanton joins Marlins' other infield picks

The Marlins spent their ninth-round pick -- and the 262nd overall selection -- on shortstop Aaron Blanton, the third consecutive middle infielder taken by Miami.

Blanton was one of best bats in the Richland College lineup during his two seasons with the Thunderducks, leading the team in RBIs both years.

He batted .335 and hit five home runs in 2013 and led Richland with a .443 on-base percentage and 17 doubles.

A shortstop, Blanton joins an organization that has young talent at the position in rookie Adeiny Hechavarria and 2012 third-rounder Avery Romero.

Blanton will aim to emulate the path to the Majors taken by the Marlins' 2008 ninth-round selection -- left-handed reliever Dan Jennings.

Since making his MLB debut in April 2012, Jennings has a 1.88 ERA in 28 appearances out of the bullpen.

Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for

Miami Marlins