MIAMI -- The Marlins are infusing some more speed and athleticism into their Minor League system.
The organization has reached agreements with Air Force Academy outfielder/pitcher Ashton Easley and Virginia Commonwealth University infielder Brett Norwood as non-drafted free agents.
In 2019, Easley stole 30 bases and Norwood had 25 steals.
Per team policy, the Marlins do not announce any signings until they are completely finalized.
Easley and Norwood become the first position players the Marlins have added either through the MLB Draft or as non-drafted free agents. The organization now has three NDFAs set to sign. Earlier in the week, Florida State University left-hander Antonio Velez reached an agreement.
However, Easley may also wind up as a pitching option. The 6-foot right-hander from Flower Mound, Texas, threw three innings in 2020. His fastball has been clocked as high as 94 mph.
Easley was a co-captain on Air Force’s '20 team, and he appeared in 19 games before the NCAA cancelled all sports due to the coronavirus outbreak. Easley hit .299 with 12 stolen bases.
The Marlins see Easley as an elite athlete with tremendous makeup and leadership qualities.
Easley becomes the second player from Air Force that the Marlins have targeted in the past two years. In the 23rd round of the 2019 MLB Draft, Miami selected third baseman Nic Ready from the Academy.
Ready played in 67 pro games at Class A Short-Season Batavia a year ago, hitting .263/.311/.508 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs.
Easley graduated recently from Air Force.
Norwood’s father, Steve, and grandfather, Del, are former Minor Leaguers. His uncle is Scott Norwood, the former NFL kicker.
From Chantilly, Va., Norwood played mostly shortstop and third base in college. In 10 games in 2020, he hit .265 with five stolen bases. As a junior in 2019, he hit .310 with a .427 on-base percentage.
The Marlins are expected to sign no more than 10 non-drafted free agents. The maximum each player can sign for is $20,000.
In the non-drafted free-agent market, the Marlins are targeting middle-of-the-field players who have a history of production.