MIAMI -- A handful of major offseason trades infused young talent into the Marlins' system, and some of the players rank among its top prospects. The organization can take a major step towards luring in more promising players in the upcoming MLB Draft.The 2018 Draft will take place today through
MIAMI -- A handful of major offseason trades infused young talent into the Marlins' system, and some of the players rank among its top prospects. The organization can take a major step towards luring in more promising players in the upcoming MLB Draft.
The 2018 Draft will take place today through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. ET today. MLB Network will broadcast the first 43 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 78 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, with a preview show beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at noon ET.
Go to MLB.com/Draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, projected top picks from MLB Pipeline analysts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft on Twitter to see what Draft hopefuls, clubs and experts are saying.
:: 2018 Draft coverage ::
Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the Marlins, whose first selection is the 13th overall pick.
In about 50 words
From the day Derek Jeter was introduced as the Marlins' chief executive officer, he stressed the importance of building from the bottom up, with an emphasis on drafting and development. This is the first Draft for the new ownership, and it is an important one to further stock the system with even more young talent.
In theory, pitching and defense are expected to be the cornerstones of the organization, and once again that will be a priority of vice president of scouting Stan Meek, who has overseen the Draft since 2002, and staff. Through trades and previous picks, the Marlins have improved their organizational depth, especially on the pitching side. While there is quality, there isn't a prospect in the system considered a future face of the franchise. If they are able to land that caliber of player in this Draft, it could speed up the building process.
The Marlins don't have to look far to find a potential franchise player. Triston Casas, a left-handed-hitting power threat from American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla., is a local player who plays first base and might have the athleticism to handle a corner outfield spot. Several mock Drafts have already linked Casas, who ranks No. 20 in MLB Pipeline's 2018 Draft class, to Miami. Outfielder Connor Scott (No. 18) from Tampa Plant High School is another possibility, as is left-hander Shane McClanahan (No. 14) from the University of South Florida. At No. 13, the Marlins are open to a pitcher or hitter.
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $125,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.
Any team going up to 5 percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75-percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75-percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100-percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100-percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts. This year, the Marlins have a pool of $8,658,400 to spend in the first 10 rounds, including $4,038,200 to spend on their first selection.
Since last June, more than 25 players have been added into the organization through various trades. Most of them, like right-handers Sandy Alcantara, Zac Gallen and Pablo Lopez, are still in the Minor Leagues. There isn't much mystery as to what the Marlins are seeking this Draft -- as much depth and potentially impactful players as possible. Pitching, especially left-handers, are always at the forefront, as well as power bats. The organization also is in the market for a catcher with frontline potential.
The Marlins have never shied away from going with top prep talent in the first round. In fact, in each of the past four years, they went the high school route with their top pick, with three of the choices being pitchers. They've had some tough luck with their young arms, as two of those choices underwent Tommy John surgery, and none of their past three first-round pitchers have advanced as far as Class A Advanced Jupiter.
Joe Dunand, the nephew of Alex Rodriguez, was the Marlins' second-round pick out of North Carolina State University last year. He ranks as Miami's No. 16 prospect. A shortstop who may eventually project as a third baseman, Dunand is making an immediate impact as a power threat in the middle of the order at Jupiter. In his first season of professional baseball, Dunand could be promoted to Double-A Jacksonville around the All-Star break.
The Marlins selected James Nelson in the 15th round of the 2016 Draft, a year after the Red Sox took him in the 18th round. Rather than sign with Boston, Nelson attended Cisco (Texas) Junior College. He signed with the Marlins for $75,000, and the third baseman was named the organization's 2017 Position Player of the Year at Class A Greensboro. Nelson is one of the top pure hitters in the organization. He underwent a minor knee procedure that landed him on the disabled list to start the year, but he is expected back soon and will join Jupiter. Nelson is Miami's No. 9 prospect.
In the show
J.T. Realmuto, a third-round pick in 2010, is one of the top catchers in the Major Leagues, and he's among the best Draft picks the organization has had in years. On their current 25-man roster, the Marlins have six players who were selected by the organization. Along with Realmuto are third baseman/right fielder Brian Anderson ('14, third round), shortstop JT Riddle ('13, 13th round) and pitchers Adam Conley ('11, second round), Nick Wittgren ('12, ninth round) and Drew Steckenrider ('12, eighth round).
The Marlins' recent top picks
2017: Trevor Rogers LHP (Class A Greensboro)
2016: Braxton Garrett LHP (Tommy John surgery)
2015: Josh Naylor 1B (Traded to Padres)
2014: Tyler Kolek RHP (Minor League rehab)
2013: Colin Moran 3B (Pirates)
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.