How the Marlins are preparing for the Draft

April 14th, 2020

MIAMI -- Whenever Major League Baseball determines an official date and how many rounds, the Marlins promise to be ready for the 2020 Draft.

With MLB shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, so much of the Draft remains in limbo. Initially, it was scheduled for June 10, but now, it will take place no later than July 20.

In late March, the MLB and the MLB Players Association agreed to shorten the Draft (traditionally 50 rounds) to as a few as five rounds.

What is certain is the Marlins have the third overall pick, behind the Tigers and Orioles. Working remotely, the organization is making its evaluations and continuing to prepare for whenever the Draft takes place.

"Whenever the Draft happens, and however many rounds the Draft may be, our guys will be ready," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said last week on a conference call. "We feel like we've done a lot of work in advance of the season being canceled, and we feel like we're in as good a position as anyone to have a tremendous Draft, no matter how many rounds we have."

This is a big Draft for the Marlins, because with the No. 3 pick, the have an opportunity to select a player who could change the long-term future of the organization.

According to MLB Pipeline, the top five ranked players are University of Georgia right-hander Emerson Hancock, Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson, Vanderbilt shortstop Austin Martin, New Mexico State second baseman Nick Gonzales and Texas A&M left-hander Asa Lacy.

If a potential front-line starting pitcher is on the board, the Marlins may lean in that direction. But so much is still up in the air.

Martin was a college teammate of outfielder JJ Bleday, who the Marlins selected with fourth overall pick in 2019.

On April 2, MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis reported the bonus pool breakdown of all 30 MLB clubs, adjusting what each team's allotment would be if the Draft is five rounds.

The Marlins' revised total is $11,967,100, compared to original allotment of $13,024,700 for the first 10 rounds.

Even with the sport on hold, director of amateur scouting D.J. Svihlik and the amateur staff, along with the analytics department, are continuing to prepare for the Draft.

"It's a credit to D.J. Svihlik, our amateur scouts and our analytics department," Hill said. "They've been hard at work and making sure that all of the information that we collected through last summer and through the fall and early spring is in our internal system."

With no high school or college games to cover, the Marlins are relying almost exclusively on evaluations made in the past.

"Obviously, all 30 clubs are in a unique spot, in a sense that the college season has been canceled and the high school season has been canceled," Hill said. "You put a huge emphasis on your summer coverage, your fall coverage and your early spring coverage."