Sims, brother of NFL TE, leads Draft Day 3

Sims, brother of NFL TE, leads Draft Day 3

MIAMI -- If Demetrius Sims ever needs a reminder of what it takes to reach the next level in professional sports, all he has to do is phone home.

Demetrius is the younger brother of NFL tight end Dion Sims, formerly of the Miami Dolphins.

On Wednesday, Demetrius took the first step in his pursuit of his own professional sports career. The 21-year-old shortstop from Bethune-Cookman University was selected by the Marlins in the 14th round of the 2017 MLB Draft.

"My brother has had a great influence on me," Demetrius said. "Just him making the NFL has inspired me to take that role in baseball and be a professional. He's been a big part of it, and our family is just relieved and excited for the opportunity that the Marlins have given me."

A shortstop with blazing speed, Sims led off for Bethune-Cookman, batted .323 with a .412 on-base percentage and he scored 52 runs in 60 games.

From Ann Arbor, Mich., Sims was a multi-sport athlete -- a standout football player who turned down Division I FBS offers to play baseball at Bethune-Cookman in Daytona Beach, Fla.

"I had the option to do football as well in college," Sims said. "It was something I liked, but I didn't love, like I love baseball. My aspirations were to be in the Major Leagues. Today, I took an extra step to get that way. I'm excited."

The fact that he was drafted in the 14th round won't keep Sims from becoming a top prospect. James Nelson has proven that in one year.

Nelson was Miami's 15th round choice in the 2016 Draft. Now at Class A Greensboro, the third baseman is batting .342 and he is rated by MLBPipeline.com as the Marlins' ninth overall prospect.

As for Sims, his head coach at Bethune-Cookman, Jason Beverlin, believes his multi-sport background makes him a dynamic player.

"There's no doubt, I think his brother was a great role model for him," said Beverlin, who has had about 10 kids drafted in his six-year tenure. "Really, showing him the way, and what it will take to get to the next level. Playing other sports, I think, was huge too. He could have played Division I football as well, at a number of schools."

The three-day MLB Draft concluded on Wednesday, with rounds 11-40 being completed. On Monday, Miami took left-hander Trevor Rogers, from Carlsbad High School in New Mexico, with the 13th overall pick.

Although he was a 14th rounder, Sims already has name recognition in South Florida. Dion Sims was a fourth-round pick of the Dolphins in 2013, and after four seasons in Miami, he signed with the Chicago Bears.

Demetrius now will have a chance to make his own mark in Miami.

"He's really developed into a great leader," Beverlin said. "I'm really excited to see how his career plays out. Being from up north, you have limited reps. Really, he's only been down here for three years. To get him into a professional season, where he's going to play a 142-game season and only have a few days off in that time, I think he's really going to thrive and do well. He works extremely hard."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.