Hitting is still top priority for Marlins entering MLB Draft

DJ Svihlik explains how the Marlins are approaching the MLB Draft.

On Thursday, just three days away from the 2023 MLB Draft, Miami Marlins Senior Director of Amateur Scouting DJ Svihlik addressed the media at LoanDepot Park. Svihlik is overseeing the Marlins’ draft process for the fifth straight year, and this time, they hold the tenth overall pick.

“It’s always the most exciting time of the year,” said Svihlik. “This is what we do. This is our World Series opportunity. Like I said in the past, you make a contribution to the organization with all the players that you have an opportunity to bring in this particular year is really exciting.”

Svihlik described this as a deep draft class with a lot of good hitters, which works out well for the Marlins, who have made that their top priority.

“Try to put the best hitters up high,” said Svihlik. “We make pitchers push guys out of the way in order to take arms. Sometimes they do, a lot of times, they don’t, but the priority will continue to be hitters in the end.”

That doesn’t mean DJ and the rest of his staff will rule out the possibility of selecting a pitcher in the first round. The Marlins will be on the clock again with the 35th and 47th overall picks, where they’re hopeful that more impact bats could still on the board.

“Often teams think about taking the best player,” said Svihlik. “Sometimes you don’t know who the best player is. They’re all good. You might have a cluster of four or five guys right there and it’s really hard to distinguish which is the perfect player to take. There’s a lot of other things that come into play, so the strategy and the depth of the draft and what the organization needs and those kinds of things are certainly high on the record. As you go further down, it’s a little bit different in the draft where strategy comes into play, and we’ve been talking a lot about that today.”

Svihlik mentioned TCU’s Brayden Taylor (.308/.430/.631/1.061 with 23 home runs and 70 RBIs), Grand Canyon’s Jacob Wilson (.412/.461/.635/1.096 with six home runs and 61 RBIs), and Ole Miss’ Jacob Gonzalez (.327/.435/.564/.999 with 10 home runs and 51 RBIs). Each of them are projected to be drafted in the first half of the first round.

Another name that stood out to DJ is third baseman Jake Gelof from the University of Virginia (.321/.427/.710/1.137 with 23 home runs and 90 RBIs), who the organization really likes.

Ultimately, it’s a waiting game for the Marlins. They’ll have to see how the first nine picks play out on Sunday and take it from there. The draft begins 7:00 p.m. ET on Sunday and we’ll be breaking it down in real time on Fish On First LIVE.

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