Fish Bytes

Marlins looking to beef up roster with three of the top 51 draft picks

Vanderbilt starter Kyle Wright pitches against Washington in the first inning of an NCAA college baseball regional tournament game, in Nashville, Tenn. Wright is continuing the Commodores' history of producing blue-chip pitching prospects and could get taken first overall in Monday's draft.
Vanderbilt starter Kyle Wright pitches against Washington in the first inning of an NCAA college baseball regional tournament game, in Nashville, Tenn. Wright is continuing the Commodores' history of producing blue-chip pitching prospects and could get taken first overall in Monday's draft. AP

While the Marlins would love to get their hands on the next Manny Ramirez or Chris Sale — players taken with the 13th overall pick in the amateur draft — they’ll settle on finding any top prospect come Monday’s draft.

Other than Christian Yelich in 2010 and Jose Fernandez in 2011, the Marlins’ first-round picks over the past 10 drafts have made little to zero impact at the major-league level.

The most notable busts have included Kyle Skipworth and Chad James.

Complicating matters: This draft could be a challenging one for all teams, not just the Marlins, as it lacks clear-cut star power.

“I don’t see it as being an extremely great draft,” said Stan Meek, the Marlins’ vice president of scouting. “I don’t see it as being a poor draft. I would say it’s probably middle of the road.”

The Marlins have three of the top 51 picks (13, 36 and 51), which gives them some protection if one of their top selections fails to pan out.

Meek said the likely prospect of a franchise sale has no bearing on his staff’s draft decisions. He said it will be business as usual during the draft, which runs Monday through Wednesday.

“What we’re trying to do is put the best people we can in a Marlins uniform, regardless of where things go,” Meek said. “We have no idea. We can’t control any of it.”

THIS AND THAT

▪ Derek Dietrich had a big night at the plate Thursday, with a little help from above.

After driving in three runs on three hits in the Marlins’ 7-1 victory over the Pirates, Dietrich said he couldn’t help but feel the presence of his late grandfather, Steve Demeter, who spent years coaching and scouting in the Pirates organization.

Demeter had cups of coffee in 1959 and ’60 with Cleveland and Detroit, totaling two hits in 23 at-bats. Like Dietrich, he played third base.

“I feel like I had a little strength from above this evening,” Dietrich said. “My grandfather taught me everything about the game of baseball.”

Dietrich grew up outside Cleveland but made occasional trips to Pittsburgh to watch the Pirates with his grandfather and other family members.

▪ According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Edinson Volquez became the first pitcher in 26 years to give up as few as three hits while throwing as many as seven innings in a start immediately following a no-hitter.

The last to do it: the Phillies’ Tommy Greene in 1991.

Volquez delivered seven shutout innings in Thursday’s win over the Pirates. Over his past three starts totaling 22 innings, Volquez has allowed just one earned run on six hits. He lost his first seven decisions with the Marlins.

Volquez attributed part of his improvement to a right ankle injury he sustained in the first inning of his no-hitter. Volquez said he has altered his delivery slightly to compensate.

▪ Third baseman Martin Prado (right hamstring) and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (oblique strain) could begin minor-league rehab assignments by the end of next week, depending on how they look in drills on Monday. Manager Don Mattingly said Prado and Hechavarria could play in as many as seven or eight rehab games before rejoining the Marlins.

▪ Tom Koehler (right shoulder bursitis) gave up three runs, including a pair of homers, in his first rehab outing on Thursday for High A Jupiter. But Mattingly said the results were less important than Koehler’s health, and the pitcher reported to be feeling fine on Friday.

COMING UP

▪ Saturday: Marlins RHP Dan Straily (4-4, 3.59 ERA) at Pittsburgh Pirates RHP Trevor Williams (3-3, 4.57), 4:05 p.m., PNC Park.

▪ Sunday: Marlins LHP Jeff Locke (0-1, 3.48) at Pirates RHP Ivan Nova (5-4, 3.04), 1:35 p.m., PNC Park.

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