As part of MLBPipeline.com's visit to all 30 Spring Training facilities, we'll be sitting down with prospects and getting to know them a little better. At Marlins camp, it was No. 1 prospect Braxton Garrett (MLBPipeline.com's No. 43 overall prospect). JUPITER, Fla. -- Braxton Garrett became the highest-drafted Alabama prep
As part of MLBPipeline.com's visit to all 30 Spring Training facilities, we'll be sitting down with prospects and getting to know them a little better. At Marlins camp, it was No. 1 prospect Braxton Garrett (MLBPipeline.com's No. 43 overall prospect).
JUPITER, Fla. -- Braxton Garrett became the highest-drafted Alabama prep since 1971 when the Marlins selected him with the seventh-overall pick last June. He starred for the Team USA national team that won the 18U World Cup in Japan in September 2015 and then dominated as a senior at Florence High, posting a 0.53 ERA while piling up 131 strikeouts in just 65 1/3 innings.
MLBPipeline.com: Did you have any idea that the Marlins were going to take you with the seventh-overall pick last June?
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Garrett: I didn't know for sure, but I had an idea the day of the Draft. I had had a meeting with [Marlins scouting director Stan Meek] at my house, and then when I got the call it was a dream come true.
MLBPipeline.com: The Marlins decided not to push you after a long high school season, and the first time you took the mound as a pro was during fall instructional league. How good did it feel to get back out there?
Garrett: It was awesome. I traveled with our Gulf Coast League team, and that was tough because I like to compete. So I was ecstatic when I got to instructs and finally had a chance to pitch. I felt like I picked up right where I had left off. It all felt great.
MLBPipeline.com: Do you think that your time on the prep showcase circuit and pitching for Team USA will help you make a smooth transition to pro ball?
Garrett: Yeah, I think it's going to help a lot. Showcase-wise, and especially with Team USA, we faced unbelievable talent overseas -- lots of great teams and great hitters. I think it's comparable in terms of some of the competition I may face this year, but I also know that I'll need to adjust to all the hitters.
MLBPipeline.com: How much are you enjoying your first Spring Training experience?
Garrett: It's going good; I'm loving it, and I love being around baseball guys. Sometimes I learn as much from them as I do our coaches. Other than that, getting experience this spring is big for me for sure, because I haven't pitched much and obviously haven't pitched in a pro game.
MLBPipeline.com: What has been your biggest developmental focus this spring?
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Garrett: Just working on a few mechanical things. I'm working on getting my arm out earlier, because I can be a little late sometimes and it will drag. I'm also working on my changeup a lot, because I want to be able to command that more. To me, command is the biggest part of pitching, so I'm always working on the command of all my pitches.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.