College pitchers dominate Marlins' 2017 Draft

College pitchers dominate Marlins' 2017 Draft

MIAMI -- After selecting left-hander Trevor Rogers from Carlsbad (N.M.) High School with the 13th overall pick on Monday, it was unclear which direction the Marlins were headed in the 2017 MLB Draft. Would they go the prep route or target closer-to-big-league ready college players?

It didn't take long to see the Marlins' broader plan for the three-day Draft that concluded Wednesday. Their first pick aside, the Marlins overwhelmingly compiled college players -- 37 of 41 total. And 21 of those were college pitchers.

"We took a lot of pitching," Marlins vice president of scouting Stan Meek said. "We thought we thinned out a little bit on pitching. We thought we're really going to try to emphasize some college guys on the pitching side and get our lower-level clubs up and running again."

Just three prep pitchers were selected, with Rogers headlining the list.

Miami added nine college infielders and four college outfielders, as well as four catchers.

The Marlins didn't use any picks on prep infielders or outfielders.

"We got guys we thought were premium, everyday college bats," Meek said. "With the lack of position guys [in our system], we thought that was a good fit."

The Marlins had an extra pick this year, a Competitive Balance Round A choice, which they used on center fielder Brian Miller from the University of North Carolina.

Marlins draft OF Miller No. 36

Miami started Wednesday by selecting Dakota Bennett, a left-hander from Brewer High School in Alabama, in the 11th round. The question now is if he will sign, but the club remains hopeful.

Actually, Meek is confident the Marlins will sign a high percentage of these players, and preliminary talks have already begun with Rogers, who has a commitment to Texas Tech University.

"We've talked," Meek said. "We haven't gone totally through it, but I don't think there's going to be an issue. He's said he wants to play. He's going to be fair. We're going to be fair. I don't see any problems. You never know until you get it done, but there is nothing really rearing its head saying this won't happen. Hopefully, it will happen relatively soon so we can get him going."

Chances are most of the college players, especially in the upper rounds, will sign relatively quickly.

"I think these guys are ready to go," Meek said. "We were talking with the agents as we went about a lot of these guys. We have a pretty good feel for a lot of these college guys, unless there's a situation where a guy just wants a ton of money. Most of these guys understand where they're taken kind of will dictate what their money is. I think we should get a lot of these guys signed sooner rather than later."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for 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.