There is strong sentiment within the Marlins organization to take a college position player with their first pick — the sixth overall — in next month’s amateur draft. With five of the first 80 picks in the draft, the Marlins have a chance to continue adding to their stockpile of young talent in the wake of the team’s roster selloff from last year. And while the Marlins have usually tended to favor pitching in the draft, their greatest organizational need at the minor- and major-league levels is offense, even with sweet-swinging Christian Yelich tearing it up at Double A Jacksonville. The Marlins, as well as owner Jeffrey Loria, also prefer someone who can help them sooner rather than later. Given all that, don’t be surprised if the Marlins select one of two college third baseman — San Diego’s Kris Bryant or North Carolina’s Colin Moran — if either is available at the sixth pick. ESPN analyst Keith Law calls Moran “the best pure hitter in the college ranks,” while Bryant is one of the top nation’s top college sluggers. Another option is University of New Mexico third baseman D.J. Peterson, who is expected to convert to first. Most draft experts expect pitchers Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray to be taken with the first two picks, which belong to Houston and the Chicago Cubs, while Bryant is also ranked in the top five on most mock draft boards. If both of the third basemen have been taken by the time it’s their turn to pick, the Marlins could also go with right-handed pitcher Braden Shipley out of the University of Nevada and use their other early picks on position players.
College position player is likely first option in draft for Miami Marlins
Miami Herald | May 15