2011 MLB Draft: Florida Marlins Review
This is a balanced draft class drawing from both the high school and college ranks.
1) Jose Fernandez, RHP, Florida HS: Cuban defector has 90-95 MPH sinker, good slider and curve, workable changeup, big body, strong makeup. Committed to South Florida but expected to be relatively signable.
2) Adam Conley, LHP, Washington State: Converted reliever, may move back to pen although it would be logical to let him start for awhile to see if he can refine breaking ball to go with 90+ fastball and good changeup. 3.50 ERA, 83/27 K/BB in 108 IP.
3) Connor Barron, SS, Mississippi HS: Southern Mississippi recruit was mentioned as possible late-first-round pick due to improved bat, speed, and chance to stick at shortstop. Likely requires over-slot money to sign here, but I bet they get it done.
4) Tyler Palmer, 2B, Georgia HS: Good arm, may not have range for shortstop long-term, bat is considered solid though power potential isn't impressive. Georgia recruit.
5) Mason Hope, RHP, Oklahoma HS: University of Oklahoma recruit may not come cheap. Low-90s fastball, projects more, promising curveball, nice pick here if he signs.
6) Charlie Lowell, LHP, Wichita State: Big lefty with 90-95 fastball, good slider, decent changeup, good stuff, great stats. I think he is a bargain at this spot and could easily have gone three or four rounds higher in some drafts. 2.79 ERA, 124/40 K/BB in 103 IP.
7) Ryan Rieger, 1B, JC of the Sequoias: Polished for a junior college hitter, has power, sleeper pick. Committed to Long Beach State.
8) Dejai Oliver, RHP, Seminole State JC: Son of Joe Oliver. Low-90s fastball, good slider, knows how to pitch, committed to Central Florida. Could be a higher draft next year if he doesn't sign.
9) Austin Barnes, C, Arizona State: Undersized catcher at 5-9, good glove, good makeup, not likely to hit much in pro ball according to scouts. .320/.376/.444.
10) Scott Lyman, RHP, UC Davis: Two-way player is raw as a pitcher but scouts like his arm strength, will need development time. 4.64 ERA, 67/44 K/BB in 87 IP.
OTHERS OF NOTE: RHP Jacob Esch (11th round, Georgia Tech) played shortstop this year but scouts prefer him on the mound, though he's inexperienced there. OF Jhiomar Veras (15th round, Western Oklahoma State JC) put up giant numbers in a strongly pro-offense environment, hitting for power and average. He has tools but has to prove this isn't a fluke caused by his environment. LHP Greg Nappo (18th round, Connecticut) doesn't throw hard but has strong enough pitching instincts to rate as a sleeper.
SUMMARY: Although it isn't as spectacular as some classes, I think it is a solid effort considering the Marlins weren't working with multiple picks. Barron in the third round and Lowell in the sixth are particularly nice choices. I'm not so sure about Palmer in the fourth or Barnes in the ninth, but overall there is more good than bad here.