06/09/10 8:32 PM EST
Marlins load up on hurlers after first round
Florida complements high school hitter with plenty of pitchers
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
The 2010 First-Year Player Draft wrapped up with the third and final day on Wednesday, which featured Rounds 31-50. This year, the Marlins -- always looking for pitching -- opted to go with a sweet-swinging left-handed hitter as their No. 1 choice, selecting 18-year-old first baseman Christian Yelich, who will be converted into an outfielder.
The Marlins, whose farm system is rather thin with pitching these days, then made 15 of their 29 Day 2 selections hurlers. And on Wednesday, they went pitching heavy, as 13 of their 20 selections were hurlers -- including 12 of 14 at one point.
"Your board is always full of pitchers," Marlins vice president of player development and scouting Jim Fleming said. "It was just how it fell, and those were the guys that our scouts wanted to take and follow during the summer. There's no significance other than that's what they wanted."
One of those pitchers, former East Carolina University right-hander Seth Maness, is fresh off being named Conference USA Pitcher of the Year as a junior.
"He was still on the board and we liked him," Fleming said. "Teams probably got to the point where they didn't think they could sign him for what he wanted. He's a guy that we really liked. ... We'll go ahead and see him, talk to him and see if we could come to some kind of an agreement."
The Marlins' first selection -- No. 23 -- was the latest they've chosen in the Draft since 2004.
Yelich became the second lefty-hitting position player Florida has drafted first in the past three years, as lefty-hitting catcher Kyle Skipworth was taken No. 6 overall in 2008. Last year, the Marlins went with left-handed pitcher Chad James with the 18th overall pick.
As for the less-heralded Day 3 picks, Fleming said most of them are players the organization feels have promise, but they're also guys they don't really have complete evaluations on yet. Most of them will be given a closer look over the summer.
Overall, Fleming called the Draft "a success." But of course, the true answer won't be known until years from now.
"Our guys were extremely prepared and did a great job and were organized, and I think because of that, our board lasted better than it has in a while," he said. "Consequently, we got guys throughout the Draft that we really like. So we think it was a success."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.