Stan Meek, Director of Scouting for the Marlins, spoke on a teleconference with us after Thursday's game to wrap up the draft. Here's what he said.
Q: What were the needs and did you feel you met them?
"We thought we needed to add some pitching to the organization. We've had some young guys graduate to the major leagues and we felt like we were starting to thin out a little bit with the pitching. We focused on some pitching, although our philosophy has always been to try to take the best player as we go. But if it's close, we worked on some pitching. And we felt like we added some high school pitching in the top 10 rounds and we added some college pitching from 10 on."
Q: Can you talk about each of the top picks and how you think they could help the organization?
On first round pick, left-hander Chad James: "Is a power left-hander, great body kid. He's 6-4, 205 and three-pitch guy. We think he has a chance to be at the least a middle of the rotation starter. He's got a good arm, he's a young kid. We like everything about him."
On second round pick, right-hander Bryan Bergland: "Is a kid that is a projection right-hander. But he can still go up to 94 [miles per hour] at times. Really good solid slider, three pitch guy. Athletic. Intelligent. A real good strike thrower now which is a plus for a high school kid. We liked everything about him."
On third round pick, outfielder Marquis Cooper: "Cooper is a speed player, center fielder. An 80 runner, a top of the scale type runner. An athlete at a premium position. We felt he was a good fit."
On fourth round pick, right-hander Daniel Mahoney: "Mahoney, a right-hander, pitched out of the bullpen at the University of Connecticut. We think he might be able to start. He's a big power guy, but he does have three pitches. He did not throw a ton of innings for them. But we like everything about his upside. We like his makeup."
On fifth round pick, infielder Chase Austin: "Austin is an athlete that has actually played all three spots in the infield -- second, short and third. He hit 23 home runs. He's a solid athletic player that can fit in the middle of your field. And we felt that was a good fit for us to."
Q: How many players do you think you will sign?
‘‘I'd say your looking at half maybe. We take a lot of guys that we think are summer-type follows. The way the draft is setup now, with not being able to control the rights, we'll take guys down in the draft that we want to watch more in the summer, that maybe weren't quite ready to go out. We have their rights until August 15th. Maybe we'll sign two or three of those guys."
Q: Are there any players we could see this season?
‘‘No. I don't think so. Especially with the top two guys being high school guys. Both of them should follow that type of path like [Sean] West where they get there in that type of time frame. I think the upside is what we'd like to have happen. The college guys, I don't see any guys that would be up to that.
Q: Do you feel you could sign James soon?
‘‘No. But we're working on it. We've talked to their advisor and we think everything is going ok. It takes a little time. We know there are a lot of good relationships, being from Oklahoma and knowing them. Hopefully we'll get it done in a relatively short time."