TOP 5 LAST 5 is a look back on each MLB team and sees how each of the top 5 draft picks since 2008 fared this past season. We’ll take a look at the Florida/Miami Marlins next.
Draft Year - Round/Overall Pick Name Position
2008 -1/6 Kyle Skipworth C, 2/52 Brad Hand LHP, 3/83 Edgar Olmos LHP, 4/118 Curtis Petersen RHP, 5/148 Peter Andrelczyk RHP
While still dubbed the Florida Marlins, their 1st selection of the 2008 draft was the 6th pick overall and they went with high school catcher Kyle Skipworth. He would spend the entire 2012 season in AA Jacksonville posting a 217/285/414/699 slash line with 21 HR, 63 RBI, 39 extra base hits, and 59 runs scored in 468 plate appearances. He would also strike out 143 times to only 38 walks for a 3.76 K/BB ratio.
The 2nd round saw the Marlins take left handed high school pitcher Brad Hand 52nd overall. Hand spent 27 of his 28 starts in AAA New Orleans before being called up to the majors. Over the span of the season he compiled an 11-8 record with a 4.32 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 7.99 H/9 and 1.67 K/BB in 152 innings of work. He struck out 144 while surrendering 86 walks.
Round 3 of the draft brought the Marlins the 83rd pick and high school southpaw reliever Edgar Olmos. He made 19 relief appearances along with 14 starts to come up with a 3.74 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and 1-6 record. Over 106 innings between High A Jupiter and AA, Olmos posted a 7.7 K/9, 7.7 H/9 and 1.42 K/BB. With the move to the bullpen coming after a rough start in the rotation, he excelled once promoted and only allowed 1 run and 8 hits in 16 2/3 innings for a 0.54 ERA.
The 4th pick of the draft was the 118th overall selection which Florida used on high school righty Curtis Petersen. After 2 consecutive years with an ERA above 5.50, the Marlins decided to release Petersen prior to the 2012 season and he was unable to latch on with another organization. His last pro season was 2011 with Low A Jamestown of the New York-Penn League. He made 23 relief appearances spanning 31 innings while compiling a 5.52 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, 6.4 K/9, 7.6 BB/9, 0.85 K/BB, and 8.1 H/9.
The 5th round of the draft brought Peter Andrelczyk with the 148th overall pick. He was only able to make one appearance in 2012, the opening game, in which he threw 1 inning, striking out 2 while surrendering a walk. After the inning he pulled himself with a serious arm injury and did not appear again for the rest of the season.
2009 -1/18 Chad James LHP, 2/66 Bryan Berglund RHP, 3/97 Marquise Cooper OF, 4/128 Daniel Mahoney RHP, 5/158 Chase Austin 3B
The 1st pick of the 2009 draft for the Florida Marlins was pick number 18 and they selected high school port-sider Chad James. James spent the 2012 season repeating the High A Florida State League with their Jupiter affiliate. He stared 23 games and threw a total of 114 2/3 innings with a 4.87 ERA, 4.36 FIP, 1.64 WHIP, 6.3 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9. His main problem has been being too hittable. His BABIP was .337 last season and hitters posted a .293 batting average against. By pitching in a notoriously pitcher-friendly league he has limited his homerun totals, only 9 in 2012, but a move up to AA Southern League could expose him.
The Marlins front office decided to stick with high school pitchers going into the 2nd round as they selected righty Bryan Berglund 66th overall. 2012 marked Berglund’s first professional season, 2 years after being drafted. He did not sign in time to log any innings after being drafted and during March of 2010 he suffered a torn labrum in his pitching shoulder. The injury sidelined him for 2 entire seasons and he debuted with the short season A Ball Jamestown Jammers of the New York-Penn League. Over 10 relief appearances he threw 11 2/3 innings with a 3.09 ERA, 8.5 H/9, 6.2 K/9 and a 0-1 record. His control was very shaky though as he did walk 10 batters. He had to alter his delivery after injuring his shoulder and this could be the reason behind the control issues. Considering the limited workload Berglund saw this past season, he could be in for a repeat with Jamestown before seeing full season ball.
High school outfielder Marquise Cooper would be the 3rd round selection of the Marlins with the 97th overall pick. Cooper did not play professionally this year after being released by the team prior to the 2012 season. His last season was 2011 where he played for Jamestown in short season A ball. He logged a 220/335/324/659 slash line with 4 HR, 22 RBI, 14 for 17 in stolen bases, and 54 strikeouts to pair with 25 walks over 60 games and 215 plate appearances. Cooper is an example of a toolsy high school outfielders who does not pan out due to not being able to hit even low level pitching.
The 4th round selection of college righty Daniel Mahoney with the 128th overall pick bucked the trend of high school players taken by the Marlins. Mahoney sepnt 2012 pitching for the Yankees organization at their A ball affiliate Charleston RiverDogs. He made 35 appearances out of their bullpen logging 63 2/3 innings with a 3.39 ERA and 3.47 FIP. He had solid rate stats with a 7.5 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, 1.49 WHIP, and 9.3 H/9. He had a high BABIP of .321 but only a .262 opponents batting average.
With the 158th pick of the draft, the Marlins took college short stop Chase Austin in the 5th round, then moved him over to 3B after the draft. Austin did not play professionally either in 2012 and was released along with Marquise Cooper before the 2012 season. His last pro season was with Jupiter in 2011 and he hit 226/287/349/636 with 10 HR, 41 RBI, 11 SB, 45 runs scored and 84 hits over 416 plate appearances and 105 games. He struck out 60 times and was only able to take 25 walks.
2010 -1/23 Christian Yelich OF, 2/73 Rob Rasmussen RHP, 3/104 JT Realmuto C, 4/137 Andrew Toles OF, 5/167 Robert Morey RHP
So far the Marlins front office has hit it rich with their 1st round pick in 2010 with the 23rd overall pick. They selected high school first baseman Christian Yelich and converted him back to the outfield. He was moved up the defensive spectrum to CF for 2012 after spending 2011 in LF and still excelled at the plate to the tune of a 329/402/516/918 slash line. Playing for High A Jupiter, he hit 46 extra base hits including 12 HR, 20 SB, 76 runs scored, 48 RBI and 132 hits in 451 plate appearances. He also put up a 162 wRC+ which accounts for league and park factors where 100 is average. Yelich would end up leading the Florida State League in OPS, slugging %, wOBA, and wRC+.
The 2nd round would have the Marlins picking college southpaw Rob Rasmussen with the 73rd overall pick. He started the year with High A Jupiter in their rotation throwing 87 2/3 innings over 16 starts. The results were a 3.90 ERA, 3.64 FIP, 1.36 WHIP, 7.7 K/9, 3.7 BB/9, 8.5 H/9, .245 opponents batting average and a 4-7 record. He was then traded to the Houston Astros in the Carlos Lee deal and was promoted to AA Corpus Christi in the Texas League. There he would struggle against the more advanced competition and over the course of 54 1/3 innings Rasmussen pitched to a 4.80 ERA, 4.07 FIP, 7.3 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 9.6 H/9, and .272 opponents batting average. His rate stats improved with the jump but he wasn’t able to miss as many bats as he did while pitching for Miami in an inferior league. His overall line for the year was an 8-11 record, 142 IP, 7.5 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 8.9 H/9, 1.37 WHIP and 4.25 ERA. Since the end of the season Rasmussen was traded from Houston to the Los Angeles Dodgers for pitcher John Ely.
Pick number 104 of the 2010 draft was the 3rd round selection of high school short stop Jacob "JT" Realmuto. The front office decided to put him behind the plate and he excelled his first full professional season. His sophomore campaign of 2012 wasn’t quite as nice. Over 123 games and 499 plate appearances, he posted a 256/319/345/664 line with 114 hits, 24 for extra bases including 8 bombs, 46 RBI, 13 SB, 63 runs scored and 1.68 strikeouts for every walk while playing for High A Jupiter.
The Marlins were unable to sign their 4th round selection of high school outfielder Andrew Toles with the 137th overall pick. Toles went to junior college and was then selected in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft by the Tampa Bay Rays. This past year Toles played in the Rookie level Appalachian League with the Princeton Rays. He appeared in 51 games and posted a 281/327/482/810 line in 214 plate appearances with 7 HR, 14 SB, 23 extra base hits, 33 RBI, and 31 runs scored.
The 5th pick of the Marlins in 2010 went to college right hander Robert Morey, 167th overall. He also played alongside Yelich and Realmuto for High A Jupiter, making 16 starts and 2 relief appearances spanning 89 innings. He was able to post a 3.84 ERA, 3.42 FIP, 1.42 WHIP, 5.8 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 9.8 H/9, and 8-3 record. Opponents also hit .274 against Morey and had a .318 BABIP.
2011 -1/14 Jose Fernandez RHP, 2/72 Adam Conley LHP, 3/102 Conner Barron SS, 4/133 Tyler Palmer 2B, 5/163 Mason Hope RHP
Miami started off the 2011 draft with the 14th pick of the draft and did not waste it. They were able to nab one of the premier pitcher of the draft in high school righty Jose Fernandez. He dominated A ball hitters while playing for Greensboro in the Sally League; making 14 starts covering 79 innings. Over that span he posted a 1.59 ERA, 1.78 FIP, 0.93 WHIP, 11.3 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, 5.8 H/9, a 7-0 record, and surrendered the only 2 home runs of his season. He also limited opponents to a .182 batting average against. This earned him a promotion to High A Jupiter in the middle of June. He threw 55 innings over 11 starts there with a 1.96 ERA, 2.15 FIP, 1.00 WHIP, 9.7 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 6.2 H/9, and a 7-1 record. Even after the jump in leagues his opponents batting average was still just .192. This performance lead him to post season accolades including a spot on Baseball America’s Minor League All Star Team and Minor League Baseball’s Starting Pitcher of the Year. For the entire year he would post a 14-1 record, 1.75 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 10.6 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, and 6 H/9.
College lefty Adam Conley would be their 2nd round selection going 72nd overall. He took the same route as Fernandez, making 14 starts for Greensboro followed by a promotion. During his stint in the Sally League, Conley threw 74 1/3 innings of 2.78 ERA ball with a similar 2.69 FIP. He had a 7-3 record with a 1.10 WHIP, 10.2 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 7 H/9, 4 home runs allowed and opponents batting .211 against him with a BABIP of .289. After the promotion to Jupiter, he didn’t miss nearly as many bats but did prevent the long ball. 12 more starts spanning 52 2/3 innings resulted in a 4.44 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, and 10.1 H/9. Opponents hit him at a .277 clip with a .364 BABIP and he walked 3.2 per 9 innings. Even though his strikeouts also dipped to 8.7 per 9, Conley’s FIP was actually 2.40. Overall for the year, he put up solid numbers; 11-5 record, 3.47 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 9.6 K/9, 3 BB/9, and 8.3 H/9.
Third round selection Conner Barron went 102nd overall but did not sign with Miami. The high school short stop would decline the pro contract offered by the Fish in favor of going to school and playing for Southern Miss. The same can be said for 4th round pick, 133rd overall, Tyler Palmer. Palmer was a high school second baseman at the time of the draft and would forego his professional aspirations by instead going to play for the Georgia Bulldogs.
By the time the 5th round of the draft had came to pass, Miami chose high school right hander Mason Hope with pick 163. For research reasons he also comes up as Patrick Hope. The front office decided to send Hope to Jamestown in the short season A ball New York-Penn League for 2012. He responded with a 3-4 record and 2.90 ERA and 3.20 FIP in 14 starts covering 71 1/3 innings. He also limited batters to a .266 average and .327 BABIP while getting 6.7 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 9.1 H/9, and a 1.39 WHIP.
2012 -1/9 Andrew Heaney LHP, 3/104 Avery Romero 3B, 3/127 Kolby Copeland OF, 4/137 Austin Dean OF, 5/167 Austin Nola SS
The first pick of the new Miami Marlins went 9th overall in the first round and they selected college lefty Andrew Heaney. He split his debut season between the Marlins’ Gulf Coast League Rookie affiliate (2 starts) and Greensboro of the A ball Sally League (4 starts). Over the course of the season Heaney would make 6 starts spanning 27 innings while posting a 4.33 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, and 1-2 record. His peripheral stats were a mix of good and bad. He struck out 10 batters per 9 innings and only walked 2 per 9 but also gave up 10.7 hits every 9 innings.
The Marlins did have the 70th and 71st overall picks coming out of the second round but they were forfeited to the San Diego Padres for signing Heath Bell (pick 70) and the New York Mets for signing Jose Reyes (pick 71). Once their name was called again it was in the 3rd round for the 104th overall pick. They decided to go with high school short stop Avery Romero who would debut in the Gulf Coast League and earn a promotion to short season Jamestown. The Marlins decided he was more suited away from short stop and he received playing time at second and third base. His debut season lasted 40 games where he amassed 164 plate appearances and a 246/331/352/683 line with 3 HR, 19 RBI, 11 runs scored, swiped 1 bag, and a decent ratio of 21 strikeouts to 13 walks.
Due to the Marlins failure to sign 2011 3rd rounder Conner Barron, the team was awarded a compensation pick at the end of the 3rd round of the 2012 draft. This pick would be 127th overall and the front office took another high school position player, outfielder Kolby Copeland. He too started in the Gulf Coast League and saw a similar late season promotion as Romero to Jamestown. Copeland played all 3 outfield positions this past year spending the majority of his 62 games played in center field. He made 262 plate appearances, culminating in a 280/330/397/727 slash line with 21 extra base hits even though he couldn’t put one over the fence. He added 34 RBI’s, 39 runs scored and 4 steals to go with 20 walks and 29 whiffs.
The 4th round pick was 137th overall and kept with the high school position player theme as they selected outfielder Austin Dean. Dean spent all 47 games with the Marlins’ Gulf Coast League Rookie team playing all 3 outfield positions, mostly in left field. At the plate he came up 182 times putting a 223/337/338/675 line together. He sprinkled in 2 homers, 15 runs scored, 15 RBI’s, 13 extra base hits, 2 steals and 24 walks to go with 35 strikeouts.
Their next pick was in the 5th round and the 167th overall. They took college short stop Austin Nola and sent him straight to short season Jamestown. He spent a brief (15 G, 62 PA), uninspiring (189/279/189/467 slash line) stint there before being sent up to Greensboro in the South Atlantic League. Once in full season A ball, he played 50 games and accumulated 205 plate appearances. He knocked out his only homer here to go with 20 R, 10 doubles, 5 steals and a 217/313/291/605 line. It doesn’t matter how good your defense is if you can’t hit the ball. His final line was 211/305/268/573 with 1 HR, 18 RBI, 5 steals, and 22 runs. Luckily he has a few years to figure it out before the axe comes down.
All in all, the Marlins currently have one player they’ve drafted in the past 5 years reach the major leagues (Brad Hand) and he has been called up each of the past 2 years for brief times. 5 players (Curtis Peterson, Marquise Cooper, Chase Austin, Conner Barron, and Tyler Palmer) are not playing professional baseball, including a pair of 2011 draftees that did not sign (Barron, Palmer). 3 players are currently with a different organization (Daniel Mahoney - NYY, Rob Rasmussen - LAD, Andrew Toles - TB) with Toles being the lone player to not sign with the Marlins, but be selected in another draft and sign with that team. One player has played in AAA New Orleans (Hand) while 3 players have reached AA Jacksonville (Kyle Skipworth, Edgar Olmos, and Peter Andrelczyk). A total of 7 players played in High A Jupiter (Olmos, Chad James, Christian Yelich, JT Realmuto, Robert Morey, Jose Fernandez, and Adam Conley). 4 players played for Greensboro, their A ball affiliate (Fernandez, Conley, Andrew Heaney, and Austin Nola), and 5 players spent time in short season Jamestown (Nola, Bryan Berglund, Mason Hope, Avery Romero, and Kolby Copeland). The Gulf Coast League Marlins played home to 5 players (Yelich, Heaney, Romero, Copeland, and Austin Dean) with Yelich the only one on rehab assignment.