Top high school, college stars have names called in MLB Draft
JJ Bleday made a solid first impression two starts into his professional career with the Miami Marlins.
Connor Scott looks like he is starting to turn the corner with Class A Clinton, Iowa.
Trevor Rogers and Braxton Garrett, both sidetracked with injuries early in their minor-league careers, are hitting their strides as they headline the rotation for the Class A Advanced Jupiter Hammerheads.
The Marlins’ past four first-round draft picks — two hit-first left-handed outfielders and two left-handed starting pitchers — are trending upward as the minor-league season reaches its final six weeks.
Bleday, this year’s No. 4 overall pick by the Marlins out of Vanderbilt and the first college position player the Marlins drafted in the first round since Colin Moran in 2013, began his career with the Hammerheads on Saturday and has three hits in his first two starts. He batted third in the lineup in both games while starting in right field. The Marlins are optimistic he can rise through the minor-league system quickly.
Scott, whose batting average dipped as low as .183 in mid-May, is in the midst of a 12-game hitting streak in Clinton. He has 22 hits in that span, including nine doubles and a triple, with six RBI and eight runs scored. Scott has struck out just seven times in 54 plate appearances during that span. The Marlins’ No. 5 overall prospect, selected No. 13 overall in the 2018 draft, had 31 extra-base hits on the season.
Rogers, the Marlins’ No. 16 overall prospect and the No. 13 overall pick in the 2017 draft, is striking out more than a batter an inning and has nearly five times as many strikeouts (112) as walks (24). The 6-6, 185-pound lefty has given up two earned runs or fewer while throwing at least seven innings in five of his last 10 starts and seven of his 17 starts overall for the Hammerheads.
Garrett, a year removed from Tommy John surgery, is holding opponents to a .205 batting average with 96 strikeouts in 80 1/3 innings. He has thrown 80 1/3 innings this season after being held to just 15 1/3 innings of work in his first professional season in 2017.
2019 draft pick highlights
▪ Kameron Misner, selected with the No. 35 overall pick, made his debut with the Marlins’ Gulf Coast League team on Sunday. He went 0 for 4 and played in right field. He will play a few more games in the GCL, splitting time between right field and center field, before the Marlins decide where to send him for the final month of his shortened first professional season.
▪ Nasim Nunez, the Marlins’ second-round pick, has played in 21 of 24 games for the GCL Marlins. The defensive-minded shortstop drafted out of Collins Hill High in Suwanee, Georgia, is hitting .210 with nine stolen bases, 16 walks and 16 runs scored.
▪ Fifth-round pick Evan Fitterer, drafted out of Aliso Niguel High in California, has thrown 6 2/3 scoreless innings in the GCL through three starts, giving up just four hits and five walks while striking out six.
▪ Outfielders Peyton Burdick and J.D. Orr, both drafted out of Wright State University, are showing strides at the plate. Burdick, the Marlins’ third-round pick, has hits in 20 of his 26 games for Class A Clinton and is hitting .301 overall since being promoted to the Lumberkings. Fourteen of his 31 hits are extra-base hits, including three home runs and two doubles. Orr, the Marlins’ 10th-round pick, leads the Batavia Muckdogs and New York-Penn League with a .369 batting average and is second in the league with 17 stolen bases.
▪ Pitcher Evan Brabrand, the Marlins’ ninth-round pick out of Liberty, has converted all seven save opportunities he has faced for Batavia. The 6-3 righty has struck out 13 batters while giving up just one run on seven hits and four walks in that span.
▪ Pitcher Chris Mokma, the Marlins’ 12th-round pick, is scheduled to make his professional debut in the GCL at some point this week.