Jeter, “not happy” where the Marlins are
Popular thinking heading into the 2019 MLB Draft has stated it’s a three-player draft. Adley Rutschman, Andrew Vaughn and Bobby Witt Jr. have created a clear top tier, each of whom provide something a little bit different.
The Miami Marlins, of course, have the No. 4 pick, which means they’re the first crucial pivot point. If the projected top three are all off the board, the Marlins have plenty of directions they could go, but there seems to be a clearer line of thinking emerging with about a month until the draft. JJ Bleday could be Miami’s pick.
ESPN and CBSSports.com both put out mock drafts Monday, and both prognostications project the Vanderbilt Commodores outfielder to be the Marlins’ selection at No. 4.
ESPN’s Keith Law actually cites some chatter from within the organization to back up his assertion.
“Word is the Marlins’ scouting department wants Bleday, a strong college bat with a great track record of performance from a top program,” Law wrote.
CBS Sports’ Mike Axisa views Bleday as a fit, too, even though Miami has only taken college players twice in the past 11 years. For a team in desperate need of hitting prospects, Bleday might be the only logical option for the Marlins when need is taken into account.
“Bleday offers a nice combination of upside and probability,” Axisa wrote.
There could, however, be a complication. Although Miami’s scouting department reportedly prefers Bleday, Law notes CEO Derek Jeter and vice president of player development and scouting Gary Denbo both prefer C.J. Abrams, a shortstop from Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Roswell, Georgia. The ESPN mock draft pegs Abrams as the No. 6 pick to the San Diego Padres.
None of this will matter if one of Rutschman, Vaughn or Witt surprisingly fall, though. Rutschman, a catcher for the Oregon State Beavers, is a switch-hitter and one of the best offensive players in college baseball. Vaughn, a first baseman for the California Golden Bears, is the sort of pure hitter the Marlins desperately need. Witt, a shortstop from Coleyville Heritage High School in Texas, is far and away the top high school prospect and once seemed to be the favorite to go No. 1. He is also the son of former Marlins pitcher Bobby Witt. If any of the three fall, Miami likely wouldn’t hesitate to grab him.