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Marlins stock up on lefties, middle infielders in Draft

Marlins stock up on lefties, middle infielders in Draft play video for Marlins stock up on lefties, middle infielders in Draft

After starting off hot with the selection of right-handed flame-thrower Tyler Kolek at the No. 2 spot, the Marlins spent most of the rest of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft picking up lefty pitchers and high school position players.

Before the Draft started, the Marlins had no shortstops among their Top 20 Prospects. They were quick to try to remedy that, choosing three from high schools and one from the University of Arkansas in the first 10 rounds.

That collegiate shortstop, Brian Anderson (76th overall), finished his junior season with a .328 average, seven home runs and 51 RBIs.

"They have big tools," Marlins vice president of scouting Stan Meek said of his team's top picks. "These are high school kids, but they have a big ability, so we're trying to hit with impact at the top of the Draft. We think all of these guys bring some impact to us both offensively and defensively."

Of 22 pitchers, the Marlins drafted eight college lefties, including supplemental-round pick Michael Mader (105th overall) and fifth-rounder Chris Sadberry (137th overall).

They have the potential to join top Marlins prospect Andrew Heaney and fellow southpaws Justin Nicolino, Adam Conley and Brian Flynn as prominent left-handers in the organization.

"I don't think it's ever easy to find good left-handers. I think that's why you have to draft as many as you can," Meek said. "The left-handers seemingly don't have to have as much velocity normally as a right-hander, so we've taken some left-handers that don't throw quite as hard as the right-handers."

Outfielders fell by the wayside in the Marlins' haul this year. With such a strong focus on the mound and the dirt, only three outfielders' names were called, all of them from high schools.

It might take some time for those draftees to work their way up the system, given that the Marlins have indicated they will need to work on their power swings. In addition, four outfielders are already listed in the Marlins' top 20, including MLB.com's No. 55 overall prospect Jake Marisnick.

Three catchers joined the Draft pool as well, one of them Blake Anderson (36th overall) from West Lauderdale High School in Mississippi.

On the first two days of the Draft, it didn't seem like the Marlins were interested in anything but middle infielders and lefty pitching. They added a local product, Anfernee Seymour (197th overall), who never played shortstop until a pre-Draft workout.

Meek was happy the club was able to target players with a lot of raw talent in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. He was confident the high schoolers they chose would work well with the development team.

"We're always trying to use the value of the pick to try to get as good a player with as much value as we can out of that pick," Meek said after Day 2. "When you find players in the high school level that have skills that are available in [a certain] area, we kind of tend to go that direction, thinking we have a little more upside there than we do with some of the college guys. And you can be a little more surprised on the high school kid than you will a college guy."

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

{"event":["draft_central" ,"prospect" ] }
{"event":["draft_central" ,"prospect" ] }
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