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Everything to know about Marlins' 2020 Draft

@JoeFrisaro
June 12, 2020

MIAMI -- Six picks. Six pitchers. All with a high-velocity fastball and a breaking pitch with a high spin rate. The MLB 2020 Draft wrapped up on Thursday with the Marlins accomplishing a franchise first. Their first six picks were all pitchers, a trend never done before in the club's

MIAMI -- Six picks. Six pitchers. All with a high-velocity fastball and a breaking pitch with a high spin rate.

The MLB 2020 Draft wrapped up on Thursday with the Marlins accomplishing a franchise first. Their first six picks were all pitchers, a trend never done before in the club's Draft history.

Marlins Draft Tracker: Every 2020 pick

“All six of these players that we acquired check the boxes that we really value within the Marlins' organization,” Marlins director of amateur scouting D.J. Svihlik said. “Every single one of these players had power fastballs, or power to their fastballs. … Every single one of these guys has a 'right now' breaking ball.”

The run on arms began with the selection of University of Minnesota right-hander Max Meyer, taken third overall on Wednesday.

On Day 2 on Thursday, the Marlins went with Daxton Fulton, a 6-foot-6 left-hander from Mustang (Okla.) High School, in the second round.

Capping the day, Miami selected Ball State University right-hander Kyle Nicolas (Competitive Balance Round B), Coastal Carolina University right-hander Zach McCambley (third round), Vanderbilt University left-hander Jake Eder (fourth round) and University of Southern California right-hander Kyle Hurt (fifth round).

“You look at Max, top-end velocity over 100 mph,” Svihlik said. “Dax Fulton, up to 95. Kyle Nicolas, up to 99. Zach McCambley, up to 97. Jake Eder, up to 96. Kyle Hurt, up to 97.”

Now what?
The deadline to sign these picks is Aug. 1. That’s not expected to be an issue, because Svihlik said that all six will be signed by the end of the month. He added that financial terms are basically agreed upon, but there are some finer points, including physicals, to be finalized.

The Marlins' total pool allotment is $12,016,900.

Regarding signings, if a club exceeds its assigned pool, it faces a penalty. Teams that outspend their allotment by 0-5 percent pay a 75 percent tax on the overage. At higher thresholds, clubs lose future picks: a first-rounder and a 75 percent tax for surpassing their pool by more than 5 and up to 10 percent; a first- and a second-rounder and a 100 percent tax for more than 10 and up to 15 percent; and two first-rounders and a 100 percent tax for more than 15 percent.

In eight years with these rules, teams have exceeded their allotment a total of 149 times but never by more than 5 percent. Twenty-one of the 30 teams outspent their pool last year.

On Wednesday, the Marlins reached agreement with Meyer, pending a physical. The deal is considered slightly below the slot value of $7.22 million.

The slot values for their remaining five picks are: Round 2 ($1.86 million), Competitive Balance Round B ($1.13 million), Round 3 ($831,000), Round 4 ($560,000) and Round 5 ($418,200).

Trend wrap
Loading up on pitchers, obviously, was the trend for the 2020 Class. But in terms of the bigger picture, the Marlins continue to lean towards college players in the early rounds. Fulton was the only prep player taken this year. And among their first five picks (over four rounds) in 2019, shortstop Nasim Nuñez (second round) was the lone high school choice.

First-round fact
Along with having a fastball clocked as high as 102 mph in a college tournament, Meyer was a hockey and baseball star at Woodbury (Minn.) High School. Meyer cemented his position as the No. 3 overall pick with his four strong starts at the University of Minnesota in 2020. Against the University of Utah on March 6, he struck out 15 in eight innings, becoming the first Gophers pitcher since former big leaguer Glen Perkins ('04) to fan that many.

Day 2 name to watch
Nicolas, the Competitive Balance Round B pick, has a chance to become one of the steals of the Draft.

“He was a late bloomer,” Svihlik said. “That’s how he ends up at Ball State.”

The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder is from an athletic family. His uncle is broadcaster Todd Blackledge, the former Penn State national championship-winning quarterback who also played in the NFL.

At Jackson (Ohio) High School, Nicolas was a two-guard on a state championship team.

“To get that guy at 61, that was pretty exciting,” Svihlik said.

NDFA strategy
The non-drafted free-agent signing period begins at 9 a.m. ET on Sunday, and the Marlins anticipate being active. Ideally, they’d like to add at least one catcher. But the concern is many of the available ones may return or opt to go to college. Svihlik added that he doesn’t anticipate the Marlins signing more than 10 non-drafted free agents total. The maximum bonus to sign a player is $20,000.

The last word
“We knew that the Draft was really deep in pitching. The position players that we really, really liked ended up getting taken right ahead of us at 40 and above. We had them lined up on the board that way. They just got taken.” -- Svihlik

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.