NEW YORK -- The Marlins used their first-round pick on a talented left-handed pitcher last year. This year, they waited just a little later to grab another.
With their second pick, 35th overall, the Marlins took Matt Krook from St. Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco, a 6-4, 200-pound lanky southpaw who joins a growing list of lefties the Marlins have collected over the past couple years with high-end stuff.
“We really felt outside of maybe Trey Ball [who went seventh overall to the Red Sox] he was the second-best left-hander in the country. For us to get him at 35, we really felt good about that,” Marlins vice president of scouting Stan Meek said Friday.
“I don’t think you ever could get enough left-handed pitching. You can stop the running game. You don’t have to have quite the same stuff to get outs. Left-handed pitching is always a premium in any draft. We try to grab one or two in every draft.”
A University of Oregon signee, Krook has “a plus curveball” and a fastball that sits between 92 and 93 miles per hour and tops out at 95. He was said to be a tough sign for the Marlins because his parents were pushing education. But about an hour after being taken Thursday, Krook said otherwise.
“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, who also represents Marlins pitcher Ricky Nolasco] knew what it would take to decide, and it fell in the range.”
Even though their current starting rotation doesn’t feature a southpaw, the Marlins are quietly building a stable of talented lefties in the minors. Not counting Krook, three of the Marlins’ top six prospects are left-handed pitchers: last year’s No. 1 overall pick Andrew Heaney (0-0, 1.46 ERA in Single A Jupiter), 2011 second-round pick Adam Conley (4-2, 4.39 ERA in Double A Jacksonville) and Justin Nicolino (2-1, 2.42 ERA in Jupiter), who was acquired in the trade with the Blue Jays last winter.
With another 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 and earning All-Pac 12 First-Team honors. But he struggled this past season, going 6-6 with a 4.12 ERA. He still had an 86 to 21 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
“We think we can get him back to where he was,” Meek said. “I saw him back in March, and [he] threw the ball very well up to 96, even after [the] fifth inning. He throws a lot of strikes and is a very good competitor for them, been their main guy. He’s got a real durable body, starter body we think.”
With their final pick Thursday, the Marlins took right-handed closer Colby Suggs out of the University of 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 but battled wildness at times.
“I saw him in the SEC tournament, and he was up to 96 or 97 [miles per hour] on his fastball and 84 to 85 on a true curve ball mph,” Meek said. “Real aggressive, kind of in the Jason Motte mold from the Cardinals. Just a bull of a kid. Six-foot, strong, durable and aggressive.”