Marlins select Thomas White, Kemp Alderman to wrap up Day 1

The Marlins have added another high-upside prep arm and a powerful college bat.

After the selection of pitcher Noble Meyer, the Miami Marlins doubled down on high school arms by selecting left-handed pitcher Thomas White out of Phillips Academy (MA) with the 35th overall pick of the 2023 MLB Draft. Then in the second round of the draft (47th overall pick), the Marlins followed through on the pre-draft college bat buzz by taking outfielder Kemp Alderman out of Ole Miss.

“An elite left-handed pitcher,” said Miami Marlins senior director of amateur scouting DJ Svihlik on Thomas White. White ranked as the 19th overall draft prospect on Baseball America, 24th on MLB Pipeline, 27th on The Athletic and 27th on FanGraphs.

In his senior season, White had a 5-2 record, 1.66 ERA, 95 strikeouts and allowed only 10 hits over 42.0 innings pitched. White was named the Gatorade Massachusetts Player of the Year this past season. White’s arsenal includes a mid-90s fastball, plus curveball and changeup. Svihlik compared his body type to that of Andy Pettitte.

What stands out about White is the 6’5″, 225-pound frame that he brings to the organization. Not only does the body type fit the Marlins mold, but so does the three-pitch mix that he has.

“Thomas was really, really good at a young age,” said Svihlik. “He was big, he was strong, and he was throwing hard at a younger age. I can imagine the recruiting process sped up a little bit for Thomas and he was able to get committed a little bit earlier.”

White is committed to play collegiately at baseball powerhouse Vanderbilt, but the Marlins have experience with signing fellow Vandy commits, including Will Banfield in 2018 and Karson Milbrandt in 2022.

In the second round, the Marlins selected Kemp Alderman as their first position player of this draft class. In 2023, the outfielder from Ole Miss slashed .376/.440/.709/1.149 with 19 home runs and 61 RBIs. He was ranked 55th in this class by MLB Pipeline, 82nd by The Athletic and 102nd by Baseball America. Alderman’s 19 homers were the third-most in program history and his 80 hits and 151 total bases was the fourth-highest in the SEC during the regular season. He also won the Boo Ferriss Trophy winner.

Svihlik described the Alderman pick as the most impactful bat available who can also play multiple positions including catcher, which is an organizational need for the Marlins.

“He’s played a little bit of everywhere on the field,” said Svihlik. “He needs some development defensively. Shouldn’t be a problem.” When asked about the exact plan, he said that they will place him at his natural position as a corner outfielder initially and then ease him into catching (most outstanding college baseball player in the state of Mississippi).

Alderman’s best tools are his 60 grade power and 60 grade arm. Limitations in the other aspects of his game could help the Marlins sign him to an underslot deal, saving money to be used on upcoming picks.

The Marlins next pick will be No. 78 overall, which is in Round 3 of the draft.

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