Last year, former Hialeah Mater Academy shortstop Albert Almora went sixth overall to the Cubs. Slotted to receive $3.25 million, the Cubs went over and signed Almora for $3.9 million.
The Marlins have traditionally gone in the opposite direction when it comes to signing draft picks. 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 he ended up taking the Marlins’ final offer of $2.6 million with about 40 minutes to go before the signing deadline.
Meek, though, doesn’t anticipate signing Moran to be difficult.
“I think we’ll get this done,” Meek said. “I think its time for him to go play. I think they want him to go play. The money will be significant, so we should be fine.”
How quickly could Moran join a Marlins lineup starved for offense?
“We don’t really know,” Meek said. “I think he’s an advanced college bat. Hopefully, it won’t take that long. These guys kind of drive their own train, but we do think he’ll be a little bit faster than these high school guys.”
The Marlins addressed pitching with their next three picks Thursday, taking 6-4, 200-pound left-hander Matt Krook of St. Ignacious High School in San Francisco and Arizona State right-hander Trevor Williams with the 44th pick in the second round.
Krook, taken with the 35th overall pick in Competitive Balance Round A, is a University of Oregon commitment, but said signing with the Marlins won't be a problem.
"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.
Williams (6-3, 225) 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.
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.
The Marlins said Thursday that former manager Jack McKeon, who had heart bypass surgery Monday, will be released from a Duke University hospital Friday and head home.