Derek Jeter’s first Marlins draft may be most important
“Patience” is a word that has been preached throughout the Miami Marlins history. Which is quite fitting that new Marlins CEO Derek Jeter would be preaching that again during the franchise’s 25th anniversary weekend.
“You want the results to be there right away but you can’t just snap your fingers and turn around something that was broken,” Jeter said on Friday, after first round pick Connor Scott was introduced to fans and media at Marlins Park.
In an effort the rebuild the farm system and foster a winning team from the ground up, Jeter traded the Marlins’ four best players including National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton for second baseman Starlin Castro and a bunch of prospects. After the Marlins made their first MLB Draft selections in the Jeter era, patience in building the pipeline is indeed a virtue.
Building the pipeline doesn’t just mean trading big leaguers for minor leaguers. Drafts have to bring in talent that would lead to building competitive teams. Jeter made it known that he was heavily involved during the 2018 MLB Draft.
“I make suggestions,” Jeter said. “We want to build this organization with athletes. Obviously I’ve said from day one that player development is huge. We want to get great athletes. When you give great athletes to our player development staff, then I like our chances.”
Jeter said that the draft was an investment in people. Scott, listed at 6-foot-4, 180-pounds and was considered by Baseball America as the third-best outfielder in the draft, grew up playing shortstop and idolizing the former New York Yankees captain.
When high school players can get drafted higher than accomplished college players, stats become a fickle matter. Which is why Jeter has emphasized drafting a heavy dose of athleticism.
“You can do a lot of things with athletes,” Jeter said. “We want guys to put pressure on defense. We want guys that are able to play defense. We have athletes … I’m not just saying this because I was a short stop, but a lot of times, you put some of your best athletes at shortstop, you put some of you best athletes in center field. So yeah, we want to get those guys and develop them and figure out where they play.”
It wont be for a long while until we see what materializes from this draft class but if the Batavia Muckdogs start balling out in the New York-Penn League this season, that would be a great early sign.
About: Tony Capobianco
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