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On Day 2, Marlins get mix of prep, college stars

On Day 2, Marlins get mix of prep, college stars

On Day 2, Marlins get mix of prep, college stars
MIAMI -- One day after being selected No. 9 overall, former Oklahoma State pitcher Andrew Heaney couldn't believe he was a Miami Marlin.

The big left-hander posted on his Twitter page Tuesday that he didn't remove his new Marlins jersey all night, and that when he woke up, he realized he wasn't dreaming -- Monday night actually happened.

On Tuesday, the Marlins added 14 more prospects through the First-Year Player Draft to join Heaney and the organization moving forward.

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"We got a lot of guys that we targeted," said Stan Meek, the Marlins' vice president of scouting. "We got a good group of high school hitters that we liked up high and then we got a couple of those guys we liked later on as well."

Early on, the Marlins went after a trio of high school bats, as their first three selections on Day 2 of the Draft were high school players: infielder Avery Romero, a Florida native, and a pair of outfielders in Kolby Copeland and Austin Dean. Meek likes the power that Romero brings to the plate, and was especially high on Copeland, who has drawn comparisons to first-round selection Courtney Hawkins.

2012 Draft Central

"He's a left-handed hitter and Courtney's a right, but he's got a fast bat," Meek said. "He's got power and we think the bat works, too. He's not necessarily a power hitter, but a hitter with power, which we like."

To go along with the bats, the Marlins landed a pair of arms they believe could be starters at the next level in righties Ryan Newell and Drew Steckenrider. On the day, the team selected four right-handed hurlers.

The Marlins also landed a player they believe could be a true shortstop in the pros in LSU's Austin Nola, who used a solid senior season to improve his draft stock. After being selected in the 31st round a year ago, the Marlins took him in the fifth round.

"We've always liked him and he kind of put his game together a little bit better now than it ever has been," Meek said. "He has a really good baseball rhythm and we think he has the chance to be a true shortstop."

For the day, Miami selected five pitchers, four shortstops, three outfielders, a third baseman and a catcher. Five of Tuesday's picks were high school players and nine were college prospects.

"We feel like we got a pretty good mixture of high school and college together," Meek said.

Third round (No. 104 overall), Avery Romero, 19, 5-11, 195 pounds, SS, Pedro Menendez High School (St. Augustine, Fla.)

Romero has a strong arm and good hands on defense, but is expected to play second or third at the next level because he lacks the quickness to play shortstop. He can hit for average and also display some power at the plate.

Compensation round B (No. 127 overall), Kolby Copeland, 18, 6-0, 190 pounds, CF, Parkway High School (Bossier City, La.)

A natural athlete, Copeland was a two-sport star in high school, also earning all-state honors as quarterback. Considered a pure hitter, Copeland bats lefty but throws righty. He has drawn comparisons to Courtney Hawkins, who went 13th overall to the White Sox.

Fourth round (No. 137 overall), Austin Dean, 18, 6-1, 190 pounds, OF, Klein Collins High School (Spring, Texas)

Dean played first base in high school, but is projected as a left fielder in the pros. He has an unorthodox approach at the plate, but it pays off with his uncanny ability to crush pitches. Dean hit .387 with a .573 on-base percentage as a senior and belted nine home runs while driving in 31 in 33 games.

Fifth round (No. 167 overall), Austin Nola, 22, 6-0, 185 pounds, SS, Louisiana State University

After going in the 48th round in 2008 and the 31st round last year, Nola improved his stock with a stellar senior season at LSU. He hit .313 with a .433 on-base percentage and led the team in doubles (16) and walks (32) while starting all 61 games at shortstop.

Sixth round (No. 197 overall), Anthony Gomez, 22, 6-0, 185 pounds, SS, Vanderbilt University

Gomez led the Commodores with a .353 batting average and 57 RBIs as a junior. He struck out just 15 times in 278 plate appearances this season.

Seventh round (No. 227 overall), Ryan Newell, 21, 6-2, 215 pounds, RHP, Shorter University

Newell pitched 81 1/3 innings over 14 appearances as a junior at Shorter, compiling a 3.53 ERA and holding opponents to a .167 batting average. He registered 110 strikeouts and walked 58.

Eighth round (No. 257 overall), Drew Steckenrider, 21, 6-5, 215 pounds, RHP, University of Tennessee

Steckenrider appeared in 27 games for Tennessee, including three starts. He had a 3.34 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP while holding opponents to a .197 batting average. He struck out 79 and walked 40 during his junior campaign.

Ninth round (No. 287 overall), Nicholas Wittgren, 22, 6-3, 210 pounds, RHP, Purdue University

Wittgren is Purdue's all-time saves leader, with 22, including 10 this season. He had a 1.76 ERA in 26 appearances as a junior. Struck out 39 batters in 41 innings while walking 12.

10th round (No. 317 overall), Ron Miller, 18, 5-11, 205 pounds, 3B, Junipero Serra High School (San Mateo, Calif.)

Interestingly enough, Miller didn't play high school baseball his senior year at Junipero Serra High School. Instead, he opted to play in the San Bernadino-based ABD Academy league this spring. As a junior he hit .439.

11th round (No. 347 overall), Matthew Milroy, 21, 6-2, 185 pounds, RHP, University of Illinois

In 20 appearances (including two starts) as a junior, Milroy had a 3.88 ERA for Illinois. He pitched 53 1/3 innings and struck out 65 while holding opponents to a .207 average.

12th round (No. 377 overall), Christian Rivera, 18, 5-10, 165 pounds, SS, Escuela Nueva Superior Vocacional de Loiza (Puerto Rico)

Scouting reports show that Rivera has a wide stance, but generates good bat speed and has a propensity for line drives, though he has shown that he's got some pop at the plate.

13th round (No. 407 overall), Blake Logan, 20, 6-1, 225 pounds, RHP, Eastern Oklahoma State Junior College

Logan appeared in 18 games and pitched 93 innings this spring while accumulating a 1.55 ERA and an 11-2 record. He struck out 124, walked 25 and had a .925 WHIP.

14th round (No. 437 overall), Michael Vaughn, 21, 6-2, 190 pounds, C, Fresno Pacific University

Vaughn played just 23 games as a junior because a broken hand sidelined him for much of the season, but when he was healthy he batted .291 and hit nine doubles and five home runs while leading his team with a .570 slugging percentage. While his offensive numbers were solid, much of his value at the next level will likely come on defense.

15th round (No. 467 overall), Cody Keefer, 21, 6-1, 185 pounds, OF, UCLA

Keefer hit .342 with a .419 on-base percentage in 58 games for the Bruins as a junior. He hit 12 doubles and a triple while striking out 34 times and drawing 26 walks in 256 plate appearances.

Tom Green is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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