Tracking the Signings of the Miami Marlins' 2010 Draft Class

Cheng SioContributor IJuly 18, 2013

Tracking the Signings of the Miami Marlins' 2010 Draft Class

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    Whenever a draft occurs, our first instinct is to critique it right then and there. 

    In reality, it takes at least three years before we can judge how a team's draft turns out, especially in baseball. A few eventually reach the majors, some toil in the minors and many eventually quit baseball and branch out into the real world.

    Of the Marlins' 50 draft picks in 2010, 32 signed a contract with the organization. Of those 32, 13 are no longer in baseball (Aaron Senne, Kentrell Dewitt, Corey Goudeau, Dallas Poulk, Kenneth Toves, Jeremy Heatley, Gregg Glime, Mike Ojala, Todd Muecklisch, Zachary Robertson, Eddie Rodriguez, Forrest Moore and Jeremy Weber), while two are hanging on independent baseball (Alan Oaks with the Normal Cornbelters of the Frontier League; Chris Squires with the Traverse City Beach Bums of the Frontier League).

    This means 17 are still in professional baseball, although a few are now playing for different organizations.

    Without further ado, here are the who, what and where of the 17 remaining Marlins draft picks from the 2010 class.

     

Christian Yelich

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    Round: First round (23rd overall) from Westlake High School (Calif.)

    Playing position at time of draft: First baseman

    Playing position now: Left field/Center field

    Where is he now: Double-A Jacksonville

    What happened: Regarded as the Marlins' top prospect, the only thing stopping Christian Yelich is Christian Yelich.

    Yelich has been on the disabled list twice this season, first with a bruised right heel at the end of spring training, and then a strained abdominal muscle that cost him three weeks in June. As a result, his numbers haven't looked as impressive (.257 batting average with eight home runs and 32 runs batted in; compared to .329 BA, 12 HR, 48 RBI in 2012) and it might have cost him a chance to get his first big league call-up, according to MLB.com.

    On the bright side, the 21-year-old left-handed hitting outfielder played in his second consecutive Futures Game on Sunday. After recording a hit in last year's contest, Yelich had a pair of hits Sunday, including a run-scoring double off left-hander Enny Romero for the game's first run in the second inning. 

    Prior to the game, ESPN.com's Keith Law said Yelich has one of the best pure swings in the minors but was showing a somewhat concerning weakness against left-handed pitching. After Yelich's performance Sunday, Law said Yelich looked very good and that health is the main thing currently holding Yelich back. 

    "I've still got some time this year," Yelich told MLB.com. "I just want to have a strong second half and stay on the field the whole time. Then, I'll be good to go."

Rob Rasmussen

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    Round: Second round from UCLA

    Playing position at time of draft: Left-handed starting pitcher

    Playing position now: Left-handed starting pitcher

    Where is he now: Triple-A Albuquerque (Los Angeles Dodgers)

    What happened: Rob Rasmussen's greatest claim to fame as a professional pitcher might be his involvement in a transaction. 

    On July 4, 2012, the Marlins traded Rasmussen and third baseman Matt Dominguez to the Houston Astros for Carlos Lee. Five months later, Rasmussen was on the move again as he was dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers for John Ely.

    Once the proud owner of the best slider in the Marlins system, www.scoutingbook.com believes Rasmussen's future is brighter in Los Angeles, but also further off. It remains to be seen if trading Rasmussen will be a move the Marlins will regret one day.

J.T. Realmuto

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    Round: Third round from Carl Albert HS (Okla.)

    Playing position at time of draft: Shortstop

    Playing position now: Catcher

    Where is he now: Double-A Jacksonville

    What happened: J.T. Realmuto has struggled as he climbed higher up the Marlins' system. But, the last couple of days have got to be uplifting for the 22-year-old.

    On Sunday, Realmuto hit a grand slam to help the Suns to a doubleheader sweep. Then, on Wednesday, Realmuto drew a pair of walks, stole two bases and scored a run in the 37th annual Southern League All-Star Game.

    Realmuto hit .287 with 12 home runs and 49 RBI with Single-A Greensboro in 2011, but his batting average fell to .256 along with eight homers and 46 RBI with Class A-Advanced Jupiter in 2012. This season, he's hitting .230 with three homers and 23 RBI.

    It looks like www.scoutingbook.com thinks the converted shortstop has a cannon arm and terrific pop time defensively. Offensively, they view Realmuto as someone with untapped power and good speed with a quickly-developing eye that should propel him to the majors one day as Miami's top catching prospect. However, he's still a year or two away from big league baseball. 

Robert Morey

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    Round: Fifth round from University of Virginia

    Playing position at time of draft: Right-handed starting pitcher

    Playing position now: Right-handed starting pitcher

    Where is he now: Double-A Jacksonville

    What happened: This is probably the spot where "organization guys" come into play.

    Robert Morey is 24 years old, and unless he takes a major step forward in the next year or two, Morey's ceiling could be as a reliever. 

    After excelling in Class A-Advanced Jupiter (8-3 record, 3.84 earned run average) in 2012, Morey has taken a step back, at least on paper, in 2013 as he's 3-6 with a 4.59 ERA with Double-A Jacksonville. Also, www.perfectgame.org said some scouts were wary of Morey's smallish frame and modest overall stuff when he was drafted three years ago. So far, it looks like Morey has not proven his detractors wrong.

Rett Varner

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    Round: Sixth round from University of Texas at Arlington 

    Playing position at time of draft: Right-handed starting pitcher

    Playing position now: Right-handed relief pitcher

    Where is he now: Triple-A New Orleans

    What happened: When Rett Varner was drafted, the book on him, according to www.perfectgame.org, was he had a plus fastball touching 96 mph and an average slurve and changeup.

    Well, without multiple quality pitches in the repertoire, Varner has transitioned from being a starting pitcher to a relief pitcher.

    In his first full professional season, Varner started all 20 games and compiled a 8-8 record with a 5.29 ERA with Single-A Greensboro in 2011. Then last season, Varner started just 14 of his 29 appearances and went 4-6 with a 3.67 ERA in Jupiter, Jacksonville and New Orleans. This year, Varner has started just four of his 29 games and is 1-3 with a 2.96 ERA in Jacksonville and New Orleans.

    Simply put, Varner might have found his niche coming out of the bullpen.

Mark Canha

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    Round: Seventh round from University of California

    Playing position at time of draft: Right fielder

    Playing position now: First baseman/outfielder

    Where is he now: Double-A Jacksonville

    What happened: In Mark Canha's three years of professional baseball, it seems he's had three different approaches.

    In Year 1, Canha came closest to the scouting report on him, courtesy of www.bbprospectreport.com, which is flashing right-handed power that will take him as far as it can carry him after he hit .276 with 25 home runs and 85 RBI with Single-A Greensboro in 2011.

    The following season, Canha's batting average rose to .293, but the power fizzled to six home runs with Class A-Advanced Jupiter. Then this season, Canha has not hit for average (.236) or power (seven homers) with Double-A Jacksonville.

    Perhaps as the competition has grown stronger, the less Canha's power is in play, but that is highly unlikely for someone who projects to have a 65 power on a 80-point scale.

Austin Brice

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    Round: Ninth round from Northwood HS (N.C.)

    Playing position at time of draft: Right-handed pitcher

    Playing position now: Right-handed starting pitcher

    Where is he now: Single-A Greensboro

    What happened: Will Austin Brice repeat Single-A Greensboro for a third consecutive year?

    For a guy whom Baseball Prospectus labeled as a big, athletic right-hander with well-above-average velocity and lots of projection, Brice has sure struggled in his second stint in Greensboro.

    Brice had a solid first full season when he went 6-0 with a 2.96 ERA with the Gulf Coast League Marlins in 2011, but better competition knocked his ERA up to 4.35 last season. This year, in Greensboro again, Brice is 6-6 with a 5.63 ERA. 

    The good thing for Brice is he's only 21 years old, so there's room for improvement.

Grant Dayton

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    Round: 11th round from Auburn University

    Playing position at time of draft: Left-handed starting pitcher

    Playing position now: Left-handed relief pitcher

    Where is he now: Double-A Jacksonville

    What happened: Coming out of Auburn University, Grant Dayton has settled into his role as a left-handed reliever.

    Dayton has started just six games in his professional career, and while his earned run average has climbed every year, it has been more than respectable. In Single-A Greensboro, Dayton has a 2.89 ERA; in Class A-Advanced Jupiter, Dayton has a 2.10 ERA; and in Double-A Jacksonville, Dayton has a 3.62 ERA.

    Dayton has been so good thus far, he was invited to be a part of the Miami Marlins' 40-man roster for the 2013 spring training season, according to his alma mater. Unfortunately, Dayton never capitalized on the opportunity because he was forced out due to a stress fracture in his pitching elbow during spring training and underwent arthroscopic surgery in mid-February. 

    But when he returned, Dayton found himself in the Southern League All-Star Game, which is another feather in Dayton's cap. Now, it's a matter of getting to the majors.

    Not bad for an 11th rounder.

James Wooster

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    Round: 12th round from Alvin Community College (Texas)

    Playing position at time of draft: Right fielder

    Playing position now: Left-handed relief pitcher

    Where is he now: Short-season Single-A Batavia

    What happened: When it doesn't work, re-invent yourself.

    That's what James Wooster did.

    After toiling in the minors with a slash line of .253/.309/.410 with 20 home runs and 98 RBI in 795 plate appearances in his first three years, it seems Wooster has converted to a pitcher. So far, though, it hasn't gone well as Wooster has a 11.74 ERA in six games with the Batavia Muckdogs, a short-season Single-A ball club.

Danny Black

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    Round: 14th round from University of Oklahoma

    Playing position at time of draft: Second baseman

    Playing position now: Shortstop/Second baseman

    Where is he now: Double-A Jacksonville

    What happened: Well, Danny Black's struggles came out of left field. 

    Prior to joining Double-A Jacksonville for a cup of coffee last season, Black had hit no worse than .271 at his first three stops (Jamestown, Greensboro and Jupiter). Then, he begins this season in Jacksonville, and the production is nowhere near the earlier stops as he's hitting .198. 

    Black will turn 25 next month, so if he doesn't turn it around next season, assuming he's still with the organization and is repeating Double-A, then it's unlikely he'll amount to much in the majors.

Ryan Fisher

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    Round: 15th round from University of California, Irvine

    Playing position at time of draft: Left fielder

    Playing position now: Third baseman

    Where is he now: Double-A Jacksonville

    What happened: When Ryan Fisher was with the Jamestown Jammers, the Marlins' short-season Single-A club at the time, in 2010, www.pennleaguereport.net said Fisher has plenty of upside, is quite advanced and has enough bat speed to prove he's ready for the next level.

    Well, they aren't completely wrong.

    After hitting .274 with eight home runs and 49 RBI in 2010 with Jamestown, Fisher hit .258 with 18 home runs in Single-A Greensboro. Since then, though, the batting average has dropped to .254 last year and .241 this year. Meanwhile, Fisher hit just five homers last season and eight this season.

    And since Fisher plays third base, he might be blocked by Marlins first-round pick Colin Moran in the near future.

Zach Neal

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    Round: 17th round from University of Oklahoma

    Playing position at time of draft: Right-handed starting pitcher

    Playing position now: Right-handed starting pitcher

    Where is he now: Double-A Midland (Oakland Athletics)

    What happened: Believe it or not, the Marlins did not trade Zach Neal away.

    Neal had a couple of solid seasons, going 17-14 with a 3.24 ERA in two-plus seasons with the Marlins organization before he asked for his release to explore his options as a pro ball player, according to www.mywesttexas.com. In late March, Neal signed a minor league contract with the Oakland Athletics organization.

    “I was a ready to play for anybody but (the A’s) saw that I fit with them, more importantly,” Neal told the aforementioned website. “I guess my style of pitching is what they look for, but I was ready to go anywhere. I always liked the A’s and I’m ready to go with them.”

Alfredo Lopez

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    Round: 20th round from Compton Community College (Calif.)

    Playing position at time of draft: Shortstop

    Playing position now: Second baseman

    Where is he now: Class A-Advanced Jupiter

    What happened: Alfredo Lopez is another player in a long line of players who struggle as they go up the system. 

    That said, where he performs best is easily in Class A-Advanced Jupiter. With the Hammerheads, Lopez is a .301 hitter with a .390 on-base percentage in 360 plate appearances. In 338 appearances at any other level, Lopez is a .226 hitter.

    Lopez also doesn't have power as he's hit just two career homers in his professional career.

Brandon Cunniff

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    Round: 27th round from California State University, San Bernardino

    Playing position at time of draft: Right-handed pitcher

    Playing position now: Right-handed relief pitcher

    Where is he now: Class A-Advanced Lynchburg (Atlanta Braves)

    What happened: If Brandon Cunniff ever reaches the majors, he might be a lesson in perseverance. 

    Cunniff was released by the Marlins less than a year after he was drafted, according to Baseball America, and he toiled in independent league ball for the last two-plus years. During that time, Cunniff accrued a 10-0 record, had a 1.71 ERA and notched 33 saves.

    The Atlanta Braves saw enough of Cunniff to bring him back to professional baseball by purchasing his contract from the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League last month, according to multiple sources.

    In other words, one man's trash (Marlins) could be another man's treasure (Braves).

Viosergy Rosa

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    Round: 29th round from Odessa College (Texas)

    Playing position at time of draft: First baseman

    Playing position now: First baseman

    Where is he now: Single-A Greensboro

    What happened: Viosergy Rosa has broken out, and he could be in line for a promotion to Jupiter by the start of next season.

    After hitting just five home runs in his first three seasons, Rosa currently has 19 homers to go with his .260 batting average. 

    Rosa didn't start playing baseball until his senior year of high school, according to the New York Post, but it seems he has come a long way, and he might be a prospect whose ceiling is higher than others' his age because of how much more development there is with him.

    “I’ve always had that ‘I’ll show you’ attitude ever since I started playing baseball,” Rosa told the Post. “I always heard I was too skinny, not good enough. I want to prove people wrong. I’m on my way.”

Jared Rogers

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    Round: 36th round from Rice University

    Playing position at time of draft: Right-handed starting pitcher

    Playing position now: Right-handed starting pitcher

    Where is he now: Triple-A New Orleans

    What happened: For a 36th-round pick, Jared Rogers has done a good job reaching Triple-A New Orleans, but he might have already reached his ceiling, which will probably make him an organization guy.

    Between rookie ball and Class A-Advanced Jupiter, Rogers is 14-10 with a 2.88 ERA. Rogers made a three-inning appearance in Double-A last season, but the Marlins promoted Rogers from Jupiter to Triple-A this season, bypassing Jacksonville altogether. In eight starts, Rogers is 4-2 with a pedestrian 5.95 ERA.

    Without vast improvement at the higher levels of the minor league system, the 25-year-old hurler might never see the majors.

Beau Wright

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    Round: 48th round from Orange Coast College (Calif).

    Playing position at time of draft: Left-handed pitcher

    Playing position now: Left-handed relief pitcher

    Where is he now: Single-A Greensboro

    What happened: There aren't many 48th rounders still in baseball, but Beau Wright can proudly say he is one of them.

    In his third full season, Wright has gone from rookie league ball to short-season Single-A ball, and via his Twitter, Wright was recently promoted to Single-A Greensboro. 

    If Wright wants to beat the odds, he's going to have to allow less walks and record more strikeouts. Thus far in his career, Wright has issued 60 walks and recorded 82 strikeouts in 96.2 innings. 

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