JUPITER -- Already armed with some of the best young pitching prospects in baseball, the Marlins appear to be in prime position to land another can't miss arm heading into the June draft.
Now it's just a matter of who the Houston Astros want with the first pick and who will fall to the Marlins with the second. Either way, it looks like a can't lose situation for the Fish.
North Carolina State left-handed pitcher Carlos Rodon, who led the nation in strike outs last season (184), has long been considered a lock to be the No. 1 overall pick. Big bodied at 6-3, 234 pounds, Rodon owns a mid 90s fastball and a plus-plus slider in the high 80s.
But there's an intriguing prospect in the Astros' backyard -- 6-5, 250-pound high school right-hander Tyler Kolek -- who is being dubbed the next great right-handed high school pitching prospect to come out of Texas. He's probably going to be the next Josh Beckett, Roger Clemens or Kerry Wood. Could Houston pass on such a talented kid only an hour drive north of the city?
According to a recent Yahoo Sports article, Kolek has recorded 35 strikeouts and just one walk over 15 innings in three starts for Shepherd High School. The more impressive statistic? Nobody's gotten a hit off him yet. Kolek's fastball has topped out at 99 miles per hour and he's got a mid 70s power breaking ball.
The Houston Astros, who visited Roger Dean Stadium on Tuesday and got crushed by the Marlins 8-1, would love it if they had the first two picks. But they're only going to be able to take one of these guys. The Marlins will probably take the other.
Here's a look at both top notch pitching prospects.