Marlins select high schooler DeLuzio with 80th pick
Ben DeLuzio was the first name called for Miami on Friday, when the Marlins selected the shortstop with the 80th overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.
DeLuzio joined third baseman Colin Moran as the second position player Miami drafted.
"He's a very athletic high school kid," Stan Meek, the Marlins' vice president of scouting, said. "He's lean, and he's got room for a lot of strength to come."
DeLuzio was a two-sport star in high school and had several Division I football scholarship offers. He ultimately chose baseball and is committed to Florida State.
Although DeLuzio plays shortstop now, he will likely move to center field -- where his plus speed and average arm profile well -- as a professional.
"I don't see him staying at short," Meek said. "We'll probably look at him at second, we'll look at him in center. We may start him at short, but I think he'll move from there eventually."
Should DeLuzio sign with the Marlins, he will join an organization rich in outfield talent. Three of the team's top five prospects entering the season were outfielders Christian Yelich (No. 1), Jake Marisnick (No. 2) and Marcell Ozuna (No. 5).
Ozuna has excelled in right field since April 30, earning a promotion from Double-A Jacksonville to fill in for injured slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Ozuna leads the Marlins with a .326 batting average and ranks second with 16 RBIs.
Yelich has thrived as the Suns' leadoff hitter, and Marisnick has shown impressive power, belting two grand slams in one game on May 30.
At the plate, DeLuzio makes consistent contact with a slashing line-drive swing. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, he is strong and has surprising pop. He batted .424 with a .514 on-base percentage and 36 runs scored in his final season at First Academy in Orlando, Fla.
"We've seen him both in the infield and outfield," Meek said. "We just really like his tools."
DeLuzio was one of eight position players drafted in eight picks by Miami on Day 2 of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Outfielder K.J. Woods was taken in the fourth (112th overall), catcher Chad Wallach went in the fifth (142nd overall), outfielder Ryan Aper was tabbed in the sixth (172nd overall) and shortstop Justin Bohn went in the seventh (202nd overall).
Second baseman Iramis Olivencia came off the board in the eighth (232nd overall), shortstop Aaron Blanton went in the ninth (262nd overall) and first baseman Carlos Lopez rounded out the Marlins' picks in the 10th (292nd overall).
"That's really just how it fell. That's kind of how the board fell," Meek said. "It's kind of coincidental, really, because we needed position players, but we didn't really say we were going to target position players. We just let the board play out."
DeLuzio's time playing football has left him somewhat raw, but he has a good feel for the game and enough athleticism to make the necessary adjustments. And if he opts not to sign with the Marlins and goes to FSU, he will be following in his sister's footsteps.
Alexa DeLuzio, a guard, was the second-leading scorer for the Seminoles' women's basketball team that advanced to the second round of this year's NCAA tournament.
Day 3 of the Draft continues with Rounds 11-40 streamed live on MLB.com on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m. ET.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. You can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
In the Pipeline:
After taking three pitchers in four picks on Day 1, the Marlins focused on the rest of the diamond on Day 2. More specifically, Miami shifted its attention up the middle, taking four middle infielders with its eight picks on Friday.
The Marlins picked a good time to begin restocking at second base and shortstop, as the organization has cashed in on young talent at those positions in the Majors recently. Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and second basemen Derek Dietrich and Donovan Solano have all spent significant time in the big leagues this season.
Before Friday, shortstop Avery Romero and second baseman Noah Perio were the Marlins' top two remaining middle-infield prospects in the Minors.