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5 posts from June 6, 2013

June 06, 2013

Krook says he's ready to play pro ball; college closer taken with Thursday's last pick

SECAUCUS, N.J. -- Left-handed pitcher Matt Krook, the Marlins' second overall pick in the Thursday's draft, said signing with the Marlins probably won't be a problem.

An Oregon commitment, it was thought the 6-4, 210-pound high schooler from the San Francisco area was a heavy lean toward going to college. But he said otherwise Thursday.

"I love Oregon, love the coaches up there, but I think at this point I'm ready to play pro ball," Krook said. "I just want to get my career started. Both me and [advisor Matt Sosnick] knew what it would take to decide and it fell in the range."

Sosnick is also the agent for Marlins pitcher Ricky Nolasco.

Krook said he averages 92, 93 miles per hour on his fastball and tops out at 95. He also throws a curveball, slider and change. He grew up a Giants fan and patterns his game after Clayton Kershaw and Matt Cain.

> With their final pick on Thursday, the Marlins took right-handed closer Colby Suggs of the University of Fayetteville Arkansas. He was the 74th pick overall and the last of five picks in Competitive Balance Round B. Suggs posted 13 saves and a 1.74 ERA this past season.

Here is what Baseball America had to say about Suggs: "Suggs teamed with roommate Barrett Astin in the back of Arkansas' bullpen to lead the Razorbacks to the College World Series last year. This season Astin moved into the weekend rotation, handing Suggs the closer role, and both have thrived. Scouting directors voted Suggs a preseason first-team All-American, then had a bit of a hard time seeing him, as he made just 18 appearances covering 16 innings through early May. He has had command issues throughout his career thanks to a delivery that produces power but features plenty of effort. The 6-foot, 225-pounder has hit 97-98 mph with his fastball and sits in the 93-96 range with heavy life when he's down in the zone. When he leaves it up, the pitch straightens out and gets hittable. His hard breaking ball gives him another swing-and-miss pitch. Some clubs might send him out as a starter to get him innings, smooth out his delivery and see if he can throw more strikes. Others see him as a future power reliever in the third- to fourth-round range."

Marlins take prep LHP Matt Krook with 35th overall pick, but Oregon commitment could be tough to sign

SECAUCUS, N.J. -- After potentially drafting their third baseman of the future with their first pick, the Marlins addressed their pitching needs by taking 6-4, 200-pound left-hander Matt Krook of St. Ignacious High School in San Francisco.

Krook, taken with the 35th overall pick in Competitive Balance Round A, Krook could be a tough player for the Marlins to sign. Krook is planning to attend the University of Oregon.

But if they can sign him, they'll get one of the better young lefties in the draft.

Here is what Baseball America had to say about him: "At his best, he sits 90-92 mph, touches 95 and shows flashes of a hard curveball. Krook doesn't have a changeup and there is some effort to his delivery, so he will need refinement to project as a starter. The team that drafts him will give him that opportunity, and if he can iron those things out and improve his command, Krook could be a mid-rotation starter. He is a quiet kid and his family places an emphasis on education, so he is considered a tough sign away from his Oregon commitment."

MLB analyst Harold Reynolds said Krook reminds him a lot of White Sox starter Chris Sale and said he has "a nasty curveball."

> With their second round pick, 44th overall, the Marlins took Arizona State right-hander Trevor Williams. The 6-3, 225-pound San Diego native had a stellar sophomore season, going 12-2 with a 2.05 ERA, earning All-Pac 10 First Team honors. But he struggled this past season, going 6-6 with a 4.12 ERA. He still had an 86/21 strikeout to walk ratio.

Marlins vice president of scouting says 1st round pick Colin Moran a young Wade Boggs type

SECAUCUS, N.J. -- Marlins Vide President of Scouting Stan Meek feels like he has a pretty good handle Marlins' first round pick Colin Moran. He watched him take about 60 at-bats in the wood-bat Cape Cod League over the last two years.

The name that comes to mind when he watches the 6-4, 205-pound third baseman? Wade Boggs.

"He's a solid defender, moves a little like Boggs," Meek said. "I wouldn't like to put that tag on anybody. But he's like a Boggs type hitter. I think he's got the skill set to kind of look like that. Now, you would never suspect he would get those type of numbers. But he hits for average over power. I like a guy who can hit first. This guy stays on the ball in all parts on the zone. That for us is where you start. I think he'll have adequate power to hit at third base."

The left-handed hitting Moran has certainly hit for average and driven in plenty of runs in his three years at North Carolina to draw the comparison.

In 2011 he was Baseball America's Freshman of the Year for the Tar Heels, hitting .335 with nine homers and 71 RBI. In 2012, he hit .365 with 6 HRs, 35 RBI and then led the Cape Cod League in 2012 with 42 RBI.

This season, he leads the nation with 86 RBI. He's also hitting .348 with 13 homers for the top-ranked Tar Heels. He's proven to be a patient, controlled hitter, too. He's drawn 60 walks compared to 22 strikeouts.

The Marlins believe that will work well in the ballpark, where its hard to hit home runs, but there is plenty of space in the gaps for doubles and triples.

"Anytime you put wood in his hand he can keep up with the velocity," Meek said. "I saw him against several good arms. I really had not seen him get beat on fastballs at all. He really understands the strike zone. He's so confident in his at-bat he'll take pitches that are close. I think because of that that will help him when he gets to this level."

Meek said it's likely Moran will begin at Single A Greensboro once he signs. The Marlins have until July 12th to get it done. Meek doesn't believe it will be a problem.

"I hadn't talked to the Marlins too much, but I've always loved Florida and Miami and I couldn't be more excited to be picked by them," Moran said. "I couldn't explain how excited I am. Not getting drafted out of high school I was a little bit disappointed. But I knew going to a school like North Carolina I would have a chance to work hard and make it."

Marlins take North Carolina RBI machine Colin Moran with 6th overall pick

SECAUCUS, N.J. - The Marlins haven't had a consistent starter on the hot corner since they traded away Miguel Cabrera five years ago. They may finally have their third baseman of the future now.

Thursday night, the worst hitting team in baseball with the worst record in game took one of the best third baseman at the collegiate level when they drafted University of North Carolina All-American Colin Moran.

The left-handed hitting Moran, a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award given to the top player in college game, drove in a nation's best 85 runs this season, hitting .351 with 13 homers for the No. 1-ranked team in the nation.

"He brings so much on base potential. He doesn't strike out, walks a ton. He's a line drive, gap hitter who is not going to be disturbed by the power numbers in that ball park," MLB analyst Peter Gammons said of the pick. "And he will be very fast to the big leagues. I kept hearing they were in love with him from his workout and his interview. Extremely talented hitter."

Thursday's draft marked only the sixth time since 1992 the Marlins had one of the first six picks in the draft.

The other times didn't pan out so great. The home runs: first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (2000) and Josh Beckett (1999) who were the first and second overall picks in the 2000 and 1999 drafts. The misses: shortstop Josh Booty, who went fifth overall in 1994 and outfielder Jaime Jones, who went sixth in 1995. The jury is still out on catcher Kyle Skipworth (2008), who went sixth.

The Astros, picking first for the second year in a row, opened the draft Thursday by taking Houston native and Stanford All-American pitcher Mark Appel. The polished 6-4 right-hander, who turned down nearly $4 million to go back to school after being taken eighth overall by the Pirates last year, could be in the big leagues as early July according to MLB analyst Harold Martinez.

With the second pick, the Cubs went after college baseball's home run king Kris Bryant from the University of San Diego, a power hitting third baseman the Marlins knew wouldn't slip far enough to get to them.

Right-handed pitchers Jonathan Gray (Rockies) and Kohl Stewart (Twins) went with the next two picks. The Indians then took high school outfielder Clint Frazier of Loganville, Ga., opening the door for the Marlins to take North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran.

How much will it cost to ink Moran before the signing deadline is July 12? The alloted draft slot is $3.5165 million.

Last year, former Hialeah Mater Academy shortstop Albert Almora was the Cubs' sixth overall pick. Slotted at $3.25 million, the Cubs went over slot and he signed with them for $3.9 million -- an extra $650,000.

The Marlins have done the opposite when it comes to signing players. Last year, Oklahoma State left-hander Andrew Heaney had been asking for the recommended slot bonus of $2.8 million for the ninth overall pick, but ended up taking the Marlins' final offer of $2.6 million with about 40 minutes to go before the signing deadline.

The history of the sixth overall pick in the MLB draft has been hit and miss over the years.

But here are a few of the recent ones that panned out pretty well: left-handers Ross Detwiler (2007) and Ricky Romero (2005), right-hander Zack Grienke (2002), shortstop Derek Jeter (1992), former Marlin Gary Sheffield and home run king Barry Bonds (1985).

Who will the Marlins take with the sixth pick of the MLB Draft?

SECAUCUS, N.J. -- Tonight is an important night for the Marlins. They'll make four picks (6th overall, 35th, 44th, 73rd) among the first two rounds and two competitive balance rounds of the MLB Draft. 

MLB DraftFor the team with the worst record in baseball at 16-44, this is another opportunity to build a brighter future. Tonight is only the sixth time the Marlins will draft within the first six picks. 

The other times didn't pan out so great. The home runs: first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (2000) and Josh Beckett (1999) who were the first and second overall picks in the 2000 and 1999 drafts. The misses: shortstop Josh Booty, who went fifth overall in 1994 and outfielder Jaime Jones, who went sixth in 1995. The jury is still out on catcher Kyle Skipworth (2008), who went sixth. But it's not looking good.

Which direction will the Marlins go tonight with their pick? History tells us 11 of their last 15 first round picks have been pitchers. Jose Fernandez (14th overall in 2011) looks like another home run. Left-hander Andrew Heaney, last year's top pick (9th overall) has looked pretty good since coming back from injury, posting a 1.46 ERA in three starts for the Single A Jupiter Hammerheads.

Of course, the team's 2010 first pick, outfielder Christian Yelich (23rd overall) has blossomed into the top prospect in the organization and figures to get a big league call-up soon.

Who will the Marlins take tonight?

It really seems like it comes down to who is available. The Astros, Cubs, Rockies, Twins and Indians will be picking before them.

Most experts believe University of Nevada right-hander Braden Shipley will end up being the Marlins' pick. Shipley, a junior, is considered the third-best college pitcher in the draft behind Stanford’s Mark Appel and Oklahoma’s Jonathon Gray.

A former shortstop, Shipley is considered an elite athlete with a mid-90s fastball, an above-average changeup and developing curve. He went 7-3 with a 2.77 ERA and had 102 strikeouts in 107.1 innings in 2013.

Others say it will be either of the two Georgia prep outfielders Austin Meadows or Clint Frazier.

Either way, who ever gets taken sixth by the Marlins is going to be getting paid. Here are the draft slot bonuses for the first seven picks: 1. Astros $7.790 million; 2. Cubs $6.708m; 3. Rockies $5.626m; 4. Twins $4.544m; 5. Indians $3.787m; 6. Marlins $3.5165m; 7. Red Sox $3.246m.

Bill Beck, special assistant to owner Jeffrey Loria, and Hall of Famer Andre Dawson are here representing the Marlins.

I'll update the blog as soon as the Marlins announce their pick.