Top picks by round run gamut in Marlins' history
MIAMI -- So much of the Marlins' overall history has been all or nothing. In many ways, the organization mirrors that trend when it comes to the First-Year Player Draft.
After all, this is a franchise that has made the playoffs twice, and won the World Series, as a Wild Card, each time. Yet, the Marlins have finished either last or second to last in their division 12 times, including three straight seasons in the cellar.
Miami's Draft history, especially in the first round, also has had mixed results. Charles Johnson (1992) and Josh Beckett (1999) became major impact picks, and prominent players on championship clubs. More recently, Christian Yelich (2010) and Jose Fernandez (2011) give the club hope for a brighter future.
Along the way, there have been many lean years with first-round choices. Aside from Chris Coghlan (2006) winning the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2009, the Marlins had little to show for their top picks from 2002-09.
The Draft is just around the corner, and the Marlins are expected to be busy with a number of extra picks in the early rounds.
The 2014 Draft will take place on June 5-7, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday, June 5, at 6 p.m. ET. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 7 p.m., with the top 74 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of the second and third days will begin with a live Draft show at 12:30 p.m. ET on June 6.
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. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
The Marlins possess the No. 2 overall pick. The organization is primed to make a potentially major impact selection. But before looking forward to who Miami may be leaning towards taking, MLB.com takes a glance back at the best round-by-round picks in Marlins' history.
Round 1: Johnson, 1992
In a close call, Johnson gets the nod over Beckett based on his career as a Marlin. A three-time Gold Glove Award-winning catcher, Johnson was the franchise's first pick, taken 28th overall. He also was an All-Star and Gold Glove winner on the 1997 World Series team. Beckett, the No. 2 overall pick in '99, went on to be a World Series MVP in '03, but his career in Miami was hindered by several blister-related disabled list stints. The Marlins have their share of stellar first-rounders who went on to have big years elsewhere, like Mark Kotsay (1996) and Adrian Gonzalez (2000), who never played for the Marlins.
Round 2: Giancarlo Stanton, 2007
Not a lot of debate here. Stanton was a steal with the 76th overall selection. He's been one of the premiere sluggers in the game, and in 2012 was named an NL All-Star. He's on pace to being an All-Star again, and is rapidly moving up the club's all-time home run leader board. Some other second-rounders worth noting are Robert Andino (2002), Logan Kensing (2003), Jason Vargas (2004) and Brad Hand (2008).
Round 3: Brian Meadows, 1994
There have not been a whole lot of success stories in the third round. Meadows was a double-digit winner on some last-place Marlins teams in 1998-99. He went on to pitch for the Padres, Royals, Pirates and Rays. In 1995, Randy Winn was a third-round choice for the Marlins, but he ended up having a solid career elsewhere.
A third-rounder to keep an eye on in Miami's system is catcher J.T. Realmuto, who is starting to flourish at Double-A Jacksonville. Realmuto was selected in 2010.
Round 4: Josh Johnson, 2002
A clear-cut choice, Johnson was a two-time NL All-Star (2009, '10) and NL ERA leader (2010) during his Marlins career. The hard-throwing right-hander was a true ace, but his Miami career was hindered by injuries. Johnson was the Opening Day starter in the inaugural game at Marlins Park in 2012. But after the season, he was part of the blockbuster deal with the Blue Jays. Of note, Gaby Sanchez was a fourth-round pick in 2005, and he made the All-Star Game one season with the organization.
Round 5: Steve Cishek, 2005
The Marlins hit big with their fifth-round choice in '07 when they picked Cishek out of Carson-Newman College. The side-armed slinging right-hander has developed into a dependable closer. He set a Marlins record of 33 straight converted saves, before the string was snapped earlier this season.
Of note, catcher Nick Hundley, recently traded by the Padres to the Orioles, was picked in the fifth round by the Marlins in 2002, but he didn't sign.
Round 6: Scott Olsen, 2002
Two rounds after selecting Josh Johnson in 2002, the Marlins made another savvy pick, going with Olsen, a promising lefty who was part of the rotation from 2005-08. The lefty had tremendous upside, and had two seasons winning at least 10 games. But his career never really took off, and he last pitched in the Majors in 2010.
Round 7: Todd Dunwoody, 1993
The seventh round has been one of the leaner ones for the organization through the years.
Dunwoody, the former big league outfielder, made his big league debut in 1997. He appeared in 19 games in a World Series-title season. In 1998, Dunwoody saw his most substantial playing time, appearing in 116 games for the Marlins. His MLB career lasted until 2002 with the Indians.
Round 8: Billy McMillon, 1993
Like the seventh round, the eighth also hasn't produced many big leaguers. McMillon had some playing time with the Marlins in 1996 and '97. Trivia buffs may know McMillon more as the answer to a "Did you know?" Who was traded on July 21, 1997, to the Phillies for Darren Daulton? McMillon. Daulton provided toughness and leadership on the '97 title team.
In terms of talent of player, the best eighth-round pick ever made by the Marlins came in 1997. With the 12th pick in the round, they selected lefty pitcher Cliff Lee, who opted for college. In 2000, Lee was taken in the fourth round by the Montreal Expos, and the rest is history for the four-time All-Star, and former American League Cy Young Award-winning lefty who now is with the Phillies.
Round 9: Dan Jennings, 2008
With the sixth pick of the ninth round in 2008, the Marlins clicked on a move that has produced a big leaguer. Jennings was on the Marlins' Opening Day roster, and he was optioned to Triple-A a few weeks later. However, the lefty is back up in the big leagues, pitching middle relief.
Round 10: Brett Carroll, 2004
Primarily a third baseman at Middle Tennessee State University, Carroll spent a few years in the big leagues as an outfielder. His tenure with the Marlins was from 2007-10, and he was known for his strong throwing arm and terrific defense. Carroll last played in the big leagues in 2012.
Round 11: Randy Messenger, 1999
From 2005-07, Messenger was given ample opportunity to log some valuable innings out of the bullpen. The right-hander showed promise, and in 2006, he appeared in 59 games. In late May 2007, Messenger was traded to the Giants for reliever Armando Benitez.
Round 12: Rob Stanifer, 1994
A right-handed reliever, Stanifer broke in with the Marlins in 1997, he appeared in 36 games, and has the distinction of being part of a World Series team. His career with the Marlins was brief, lasting through 1998. He pitched in eight games for the Red Sox in 2000. Stanifer also is the only 12th-round pick by the Marlins to make it to the big leagues.
Round 13: Ross Gload, 1997
In a roundabout way, Gload ended up being a productive pick for the Marlins. The organization actually took Gload in 1997, but before reaching the big leagues, he was dealt to the Cubs in 2000 for Henry Rodriguez, the one-time All-Star and former outfielder/first baseman. In Spring Training of 2009, the Marlins acquired Gload from the Royals for cash and a player to be named later (Eric Basurto). Gload ended up making an impact in Miami as pinch-hitter that season.
Round 14: Jay Buente, 2006
Buente had a brief stint with the Marlins, appearing a few games in 2010-11. But the player who had the most big league success taken by the Marlins in the 14th round was left Brian Tallet. The Marlins picked Tallet ninth in the round, but instead, he went to college. In 2000, he was a second-round pick of the Indians, and pitched in the big leagues from 2002-11.
Honorable mention picks
Josh Willingham, with the Twins, has enjoyed a strong career, making it as a 17th-round pick in 2000. Tom Koehler, an 18th-rounder in 2008, is currently in Miami's rotation. A.J. Ramos currently is a setup reliever for Miami, making it as a 21st-rounder in 2009. Logan Morrison, now in Seattle, was a 22nd-round choice in 2005. Kevin Olsen, who pitched during the 2003 season, was a 26th-rounder in 1998. Alex Sanabia, at Triple-A New Orleans now, has pitched previously for the Marlins. He was taken in the 32nd round in 2006. Infielder Dave Berg, who spent a few seasons with the Marlins, was selected in the 38th round in 1993. And in 2002, Tim Wood went in round 44, and he saw some time with the Marlins.