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Marlins take RHP Tyler Kolek with No. 2 pick

CHICAGO -- Tyler Kolek lit up radar guns outside his hometown in Texas with a triple-digit fastball. The Marlins are hoping the big right-hander, who grew up on a cattle ranch, continues bringing the heat for them in the not-so-distant future.

The Marlins on Thursday made Kolek, a Houston-area high school sensation the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.

"You hate to put a tag on these guys, you kind of see some Roger Clemens in his delivery," said Stan Meek, the Marlins' vice president of scouting. "We've seen the fastball up to 102 miles per hour. It's a power body, a power arm, and a power package."

The Marlins selected Kolek after the Houston Astros took another high school hurler, Brady Aiken, with the top pick. Kolek, who is listed at 6-5, 250, struck out 126 batters in 60 1/3 innings this season at Shepherd High School. He walked only eight and had an ERA of 0.35.

"With Houston picking first and him being in that state, you obviously feel kind of nervous," said Meek, adding the Marlins had settled on Kolek with the past few days.

It's not the first time the Marlins have held the No. 2 pick and used it on a Texas high school pitcher. They also did it in 1999 when they drafted Josh Beckett, who became a World Series hero for them. Here's a recent feature piece about Kolek in the Houston Chronicle.

Asked what it was about Kolek that made him appealing to the Marlins, Meek replied: "About everything. He's a big, strong physical right-hander with three pitches. We think for a big guy he has real solid control of his fastball."

The choice of Kolek surprised many experts, who figured the Marlins would likely go for either Carlos Rodon, a Miami-born southpaw out of North Carolina State, or catcher/outfielder Alex Jackson, a San Diego-area prep star.

But Kolek was among the top five or six names on most draft boards.

Wrote Baseball America of Kolek: "The biggest worry scouts have with Kolek is his size, as he's bigger than most pitchers at his age. If he maintains his fitness, he has a chance to be a true No. 1 starter."

Check out this video feature on Kolek:


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Lou: you can't bank on a kid getting injured because he threw a lot of pitches in college. I'll agree when push comes to shove that i'd rather a team take a HS kid that they can watch and treat with kid gloves than the overworked College pitcher. But… too many of these guys flame out anyway and almost assuredly will eventually require TJ surgery + a lot of the HS flamethrowing kids drop a tick or two come pro ball. Do I hope Kolek works out, of course. My main gripe is Rodon is someone who can help the team real soon and not 5 years down the road.

Historically the Marlins have missed and missed badly on the HS arm and toolsy OF. Yes, Stanton, Fernandez (albeit briefly) and now Yelich is looking like a hit but beyond that 10+ years of futility ending at Beckett w/ the HS kids, as many of us have documented here the last couple of years.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

I am pleasantly amazed about Ozuna. It's clear that he has a great deal of trouble with breaking pitches and that he's sitting on the fastball. All three hits today were on fastballs, as most of his hits seem to be. And yet they keep throwing it! Good for us and for him! Who know, maybe he can keep it up. Eddie Murray was a dead fastball hitter and he sat on that pitch for 21 years!!! All the way to the Hall of Fame, in fact.

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