Marlins notebook

Miami Marlins continue stockpiling pitching prospects in MLB Draft

mnavarro@MiamiHerald.comJune 8, 2013 

Arkansas pitcher #34 Colby Suggs against K-State in the NCAA Manhattan Regional.(June 2, 2013)

BO RADER — The Wichita Eagle

— The Marlins used their first-round pick on a talented left-handed pitcher last year. This year, they waited just a little later to grab another.

With their second pick, 35th overall, the Marlins took Matt Krook from St. Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco, a 6-4, 200-pound lanky southpaw who joins a growing list of lefties the Marlins have collected over the past couple years with high-end stuff.

“We really felt outside of maybe Trey Ball [who went seventh overall to the Red Sox] he was the second-best left-hander in the country. For us to get him at 35, we really felt good about that,” Marlins vice president of scouting Stan Meek said Friday.

“I don’t think you ever could get enough left-handed pitching. You can stop the running game. You don’t have to have quite the same stuff to get outs. Left-handed pitching is always a premium in any draft. We try to grab one or two in every draft.”

A University of Oregon signee, Krook has “a plus curveball” and a fastball that sits between 92 and 93 miles per hour and tops out at 95. He was said to be a tough sign for the Marlins because his parents were pushing education. But about an hour after being taken Thursday, Krook said otherwise.

“I love Oregon, love the coaches up there, but I think at this point I’m ready to play pro ball,” Krook said. “I just want to get my career started. Both me and [advisor Matt Sosnick, who also represents Marlins pitcher Ricky Nolasco] knew what it would take to decide, and it fell in the range.”

Even though their current starting rotation doesn’t feature a southpaw, the Marlins are quietly building a stable of talented lefties in the minors. Not counting Krook, three of the Marlins’ top six prospects are left-handed pitchers: last year’s No. 1 overall pick Andrew Heaney (0-0, 1.46 ERA in Single A Jupiter), 2011 second-round pick Adam Conley (4-2, 4.39 ERA in Double A Jacksonville) and Justin Nicolino (2-1, 2.42 ERA in Jupiter), who was acquired in the trade with the Blue Jays last winter.

MORE PITCHERS

With another second-round pick, 44th overall, the Marlins took Arizona State right-hander Trevor Williams. The 6-3, 225-pound San Diego native had a stellar sophomore season, going 12-2 with a 2.05 ERA and earning All-Pac 12 First-Team honors. But he struggled this past season, going 6-6 with a 4.12 ERA. He still had an 86 to 21 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

“We think we can get him back to where he was,” Meek said. “I saw him back in March, and [he] threw the ball very well up to 96, even after [the] fifth inning. He throws a lot of strikes and is a very good competitor for them, been their main guy. He’s got a real durable body, starter body we think.”

With their final pick Thursday, the Marlins took right-handed closer Colby Suggs out of the University of Arkansas. He was the 74th pick overall and the last of five picks in Competitive Balance Round B. Suggs posted 13 saves and a 1.74 ERA this past season but battled wildness at times.

“I saw him in the SEC tournament, and he was up to 96 or 97 [miles per hour] on his fastball and 84 to 85 on a true curve ball mph,” Meek said. “Real aggressive, kind of in the Jason Motte mold from the Cardinals. Just a bull of a kid. Six-foot, strong, durable and aggressive.”

After taking three pitchers consecutively, the Marlins stayed away from them Friday, taking all position players. They opened Rounds 3 through 10 by taking Orlando-area high school shortstop Ben Deluzio.

As far as the player the Marlins were shocked fell to them? Cal-State Fullerton catcher Chad Wallach (6-3, 215), the son of former major-leaguer Tim Wallach. He hit .303 with two homers and 32 RBI this past season, and the Marlins thought he would be gone by the 142nd pick.

“He’s a big, durable catcher, big strong catcher,” Meek said. “He is a guy who can really handle a major-league season. Blood lines are great. When it comes to success with sons of former big-leaguers, the percentages are real high.”

ROTATION shuffled

With Friday’s series opener against the Mets rained out, manager Mike Redmond shuffled his starting rotation. Instead of keeping veteran right-hander Kevin Slowey in line to pitch behind Jose Fernandez — as he was supposed to do Saturday — Redmond moved Slowey back a couple of days to keep his younger pitchers from going too long without pitching.

Slowey will pitch Tuesday after Nolasco goes in the opener of a six-game homestand Monday against the Brewers and Cardinals.

Friday’s game against the Mets was rescheduled as part of a doubleheader on Sept. 14, with the first game starting at 4:10 p.m.

COMING UP

•  Saturday: Marlins RHP Fernandez (3-3, 3.34 ERA) at New York Mets RHP Matt Harvey (5-0, 2.17), 1:10 p.m., Citi Field.

•  Sunday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (0-4, 3.70) at Mets LHP Jonathon Niese (3-5, 4.40), 1:10 p.m., Citi Field.

•  Scouting report: The Marlins tagged Harvey for 10 hits and four earned runs in his last start but had to rally for an 11-6 victory. Fernandez tossed seven shutout innings and allowed just three hits with eight strikeouts in an 8-1 Marlins victory over the Mets last week.

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