Morissette, Mack ink deals, meet Marlins

July 24th, 2021

MIAMI -- Embarking on the life of a professional baseball player didn't set in for until he stood on the loanDepot park field with his family on Friday afternoon.

Morissette, whom the Marlins selected in the second round of the 2021 MLB Draft earlier this month, held court with the media wearing a white No. 21 jersey after signing his contract. So did prep catcher , Miami's Competitive Balance Round A pick.

"I can't wait to get to Jupiter in the next day or two and get to work again," Morissette said. "I haven't played baseball in a couple months since the college season ended, so I'm just excited to get back on the field and get to work.

The 21-year-old outfielder out of Boston College believes his strength is his ability to make "winning plays," particularly at the plate. Morissette soaked up the experience, receiving advice from veteran Miguel Rojas -- "Enjoy every moment" -- and catching up with a familiar face. Infielder Joe Panik played college ball at St. John's University with Morissette's cousin. As an 8-year-old, Morissette would watch all their games.

"My cousin was like, 'This kid's going to be a big leaguer,'" Morissette recalled. "I always watched him play, I followed his career, and how crazy that everything came full circle to right now he's on the Marlins and I just got drafted by them?"

Mack, a three-sport star out of Williamsville East High School in New York, couldn't get over meeting manager Don Mattingly and CEO Derek Jeter. Growing up, the latter was his idol.

"Basketball helped me a lot with my stamina and my endurance, and volleyball helped me a lot with my jumping and just kind of my quick reaction muscles," Mack said. "Both those sports really helped a lot, and kind of developing the player who I am. They say the more sports you play, the more it helps other sports, so those sports really helped a lot, and I enjoyed playing them both."

The 18-year-old began catching at age 9, when he told his Little League coach to put him there when a teammate wasn't doing so well. He has been behind the dish ever since. Mack said he models his game after All-Stars Yadier Molina and Mike Zunino.

"I would describe myself as a player as hard-working, determined and a leader," Mack said. "I feel that my job behind the plate is to lead the field, and help bring as much success as I can, and just have fun playing."

According to MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis, Mack signed for $2.5 million (pick value $2.312 million). MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported that Morissette signed at full slot value ($1.4032 million). The Marlins have signed 15 of their 21 Draft picks. Kahlil Watson, who fell to 16th overall, has yet to agree to terms. Miami, which has a bonus pool of $9,949,800, has until Aug. 1 to do so.