Recapping The Draft: Rounds 21-40

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The Marlins’ scouting department flexed its muscle on the second day of the draft, finding some great talent at low priced picks as well as getting in on the ground floor of some very projectable high schoolers. Let’s take a look.

21 – #626 – SS Giovanny Alfonzo – University of Tampa
Grade: B+

Alfonzo is a stout 5’11”, 185 middle infielder Florida native from Palm Beach County. Proven by the fact that he ran a 7.01 60 in his senior year, Alfonzo has plus speed, attributing itself to his good arm, good footwork and quick hands, making him a well-equipped defensive player with the small build to match. His quick reaction time and solid physical tools are maintained at the plate. He times his swings well, staying back well on breaking stuff and swinging through the ball with solid line drive power. This season with the Spartans, Alfonzo held down the fourth best BA and SLG on the team (.344, .570) all while showing his physical durability, starting every game and getting the most ABs. He made his power potential and ability to find the gaps apparent to scouts as 29 of his 76 hits were of the extra base variety. All of this happened in his junior year. What Alfonzo needs to work on in order to round out his game are his mechanics on the field. Although he exhibited good range, he committed a team high 20 errors this season between not getting low enough to field balls hit his way and making inaccurate throws. If Alfonzo can clean that up, he is a very intriguing prospect with power potential at a usually weak offensive position. Keep an eye on this one.

22 – #656 – RHP LJ Brewster – Hawaii
Grade: C+

Brewster is a 6’2″ 205 righty out of Hawaii. This year, the converted infielder showed good velocity in the 89-95 MPH range along with solid secondary stuff for a guy seeing his first work on the mound. He flashed a three pitch repertoire, including a well tipped curve and a nice fading change with plus potential. In his 94 2/3 innings, he struck out 63 and held down a 2.95 ERA. He pitched into the 5th inning in all of his starts, pitched into the 7th in five of them, and held the opposition to two runs or less in six. Brewster uses his long limbs to his advantage, throwing from a 3/4 overhand arm slot and getting out in front well. Where Brewster understandably needs work is in the command and control departments. While he did record 63 strikeouts, he also walked 41 and threw 11 wild pitches. Despite his struggles in those areas, his abiltiy to hold runs and hits to a minimum prove he has the head and wherewithal to succeed as a pitcher. If he can improve upon his command and control and continue to improve his stuff, he could become a serviceable back of the roty arm or reliever.

23 – #686 – LHP Trevor Lacosse – Bryant University (RI)
Grade: B-

Lacosse is a 5’11” 185 pounder who isn’t going to light up radar guns but, thanks to the deceptiveness of his stuff, will keep the opposition from lighting up the scoreboard. While his heat barely touches 90, he can move it at will, running it, cutting it or sinking it, which keeps hitters guessing. He also has a changeup that flashes plus. In his freshman year of college, Lacosse was one of his team’s most reliable arms out of the pen, holding down a 2.51 ERA and compiling 20 Ks to 15 walks in 32 1/2 IP. If he continues at his current pace, Lacosse will be a valuable change-of-pace arm that can be affective in short spurts.

24 – #716 – RHP Octavio Arroyo – San Ysidro HS (CA)
Grade: C

Arroyo is a 6’0″ 175 pound righty who has quite the backstory. A native of Mexico, Arroyo came to the United States by way of a visitor’s visa and pitched three seasons in San Ysidro, a town just inside the border of the United States in California. He pitched parts of two seasons with at San Ysidro High School, posting an ERA under 2 and an 2.00 K/BB ratio by way of a low 90s fastball, a diving sinker, and a good running changeup, putting himself in prime position to be drafted as early as round 15. However, just before draft day, Arroyo was deported to Mexico after being deemed inadmissable at a border entry station. Arroyo shows tons of promise talent wise and the fact that he was taught by the brother of former major leaguer Esteban Loiaza in his days at San Ysidro High make him even a more encouraging piece but at the moment, his future is unclear. Because he was once deemed inadmissable, it is questionable whether the US government will reward him with a work visa. While Arroyo waits, he tosses the ball as much as he can with family members but it is far from anything formal and a very far cry from being tutored by professional baseball minds. Life is also tough in Tijuanna and family matters don’t permit Arroyo anywhere near the practice time needed to make it as a pro. Thus, the longer he waits on the US government to make a decision, the more detrimental it is to his future. If Arroyo is admitted the right to play for the Marlins, he’s a very attractive prospect but that is still very much in the air. Unfortunately for Arroyo, it’s nothing but a waiting game right now.

25 – #746 – OF Alexander Fernandez – Nova Southeastern University
Grade: B+

At pick 746, the Marlins drafted the first of two recognizable surnames with former Marlins’ ties. Alexander Fernandez, the son of former Marlins hurler and 1997 World Champion Alex Fernandez is a college senior out of NSU in Davie. He began his college career there after attending baseball powerhouse high school Archbishop McCarthy. Fernandez was drafted as a left fielder but he has the athletic ability to play virtually anywhere on the diamond so there are a multitude of options when it comes to getting him in the lineup. Though he was drafted as an outfielder, Fernandez played second base for most of his high school and college careers and looks to continue playing there early in his minor league career. His tools, good hands, good reaction time, good speed which allowed him to run a 7.14 60, and a strong arm that was once clocked in the mid 80s, best suit him for that position. At the plate, Fernandez stands tall in the box and gets his bat through the zone well with good speed and a typical line drive swing. His good hands follow him to the plate where he remains relaxed and loose before displaying good strength in them. The approach allowed him to finish 2015 second on the Sharks in homers and slugging while his speed garnered him a team leading five triples. As he proved this season, when he squares the ball up which he has a good knack for doing, Fernandez’s tools make him a threat for an extra base hit every time. Where he needs to improve is in the patience department, proven by the fact that he struck out a heightened 66 times in 203 ABs this season. If Fernandez can learn to pick and choose his swings by way of improving his plate vision, there is nothing to suggest he can’t become a complete baseball player. He is already a complete athlete both physically and mentally and he comes from a great baseball pedigree. There’s reason to be excited about the next member of the Fernandez family becoming part of the Marlins’ long term future.

26 – #776 – RHP Obed Diaz – Casiano Cepeda HS (Puerto Rico)
Grade: —

Diaz is a sizeable 6’3″ 175 pound righty out of Puerto Rico whom very little information is available on.

27 – #806 – SS Taylor Munden – West Virginia
Grade: C

Munden is a 5’10 185 pound college senior out of West Virginia who led his team in power production this past season, slamming 11 homers and driving in 31 runs. He was second on the team in slugging at .468 as well as doubles with 12. Munden also flashed good speed and baserunning instincts, swiping a team high 11 bags. At the plate, the stout Munden makes use of a small strike zone and is fairly selective when it comes to waiting for his pitch. When he gets it and barrels it up with a straight swing in which he maintains his strength all the way through, Muden can be quite surprisingly — especially for a guy his size — the masher. Where he could use improvement is seeing the ball to the barrell. While he more often than not makes contact, it is not often enough solid contact. He also tends to fly open on his swings. On defense, Munden reacts to contact well but his infield mechanics could use a bit of work. Last season, he made a team high 17 errors. Munden has an edge in that he possesses power at a weak power position but he will need grooming on both sides of the ball if he hopes to make it as a pro.

28 – #836 – LHP Jeff Kinley – Michigan State
Grade: B

Kinley is a 6’1″ 175 pound southpaw who has been through a lot in his college career. After taking home league MVP honors twice in his high school career and getting off to a good start in the first two seasons of his collegiate career, Kinley received quite the health scare in 2013 when blood clots were found around his lungs. Kinley underwent two surgeries, one of which cost him one of his ribs before coming back stronger than ever in 2014. That season, Kinley set a Michigan State record by recording 13 saves. He also held down a 2.45 ERA. This year, Kinley once again began the year as the closer before being moved to the rotation. As a reliever, he gave up just 8 runs in 25.1 IP before giving up 9 over 25.2 innings in his last 5 games, all starts, proving he is more affective in shorter spurts. Kinley has a three pitch repertoire which also backs that assertion. His fastball tops at 93 and he gets in on hitters well with his breaking stuff. Kinley has a good closer or late inning reliever’s make up. He could use to improve upon his command as he has been liable to give up some big contact when he misses his spots. Other than that, he projects decently as a guy who can contribute to the bullpen at the professional level.

29 – #866 – RHP Ben Meyer – Minnesota
Grade: B

Meyer is a righty hurler with baseball in his blood. Meyer’s father pitched at Minnesota and Ben, although he was at first at basketball player, eventually followed his bloodlines to the mound. He is an imposing figure as he toes the rubber, standing at 6’6″, 200 pounds. He is as imposing with his low 90s fastball which he has all the confidence in the world in. Because of it’s good movement and the good handle he has on it, Meyer is not afraid to challenge hitters with the pitch. He has a great feel for it and has the ability to pitch it black-to-black. As for his secondary pitches, Meyer completely overhauled that area of his repertoire when he came to Minnesota. Four years later, he possesses a high 70s slider and a tricky low 80s circle changeup. He used his arsenal to compile the seventh most career strikeouts in Minnesota history. He also pitched the second most innings (288) in 59 games and 39 starts. His great control and command are best evidenced by his 3.08 K/BB ratio as a collegiate player. Meyer could have probably gone a lot higher than the 29th round if not for struggling with giving up the long ball in his senior year giving up 10, a new experience for Meyer who had only allowed a total of 5 homers in his first three seasons. Other than those struggles with homers, it was another great year for Meyer. He totaled a career high in strikeouts (71) while walking just 24, leading to a 2.96 K/BB ratio. He did match hits with IP with a 9.00 H/9 but that can be attributed to a high BABIP. All-in-all, Meyer is an imposing downhill throwing righty with a well established repertoire. As long as the heightened number of longballs he gave up this year were a one-time thing, with continued natural production, Meyer could become a back end of the rotation starter or at the very least a long reliever/spot starter at the professional level.

30 – #896 – SS Joseph Chavez – University of California – Riverside
Grade: B

Chavez is a 6’0″, 195 infielder who is an absolute speed demon, proven by his 49 stolen bases in 172 games in his collegiate career. To get on base, Chavez uses a good batter’s eye, plus patience and plus plus power which allowed him to collect 57 XBHs between his sophomore and senior years. For his career, Chavez slashed an impressive .299/.393/.436 culminating with a .308/.390/.453 year last year. When he makes good contact, his solid line drive swing which is the product of soft hands and good lower body action combined with his blistering speed makes him a threat for extra bases every time. Chavez’s weakness lies in the fact that he struggles to see the ball to the barrell. He really needs to improve upon his contact rate in order to make it at the next level. Defensively, Chavez uses the same speed he uses on the bases to cover a lot of ground at shortstop and he makes the right decisions with the ball. However, he needs to work on solidifying a consistent arm angle. Last year, he made a team high 14 errors, a lot of them as a product of his throws. If Chavez can work on making more consistent contact thus cutting down on strikeouts as well as cleaning up his defensive mechanics, he’ll be worth keeping in your thoughts as a type-B prospect.

31 – #926 – OF Griffin Conine – Pine Crest HS (FL)
Grade: B+

The next generation of Conine has come to the Marlins! The son of Mr. Marlin himself, two time World Series champ and original 1993 Marlin, Conine’s surname is one every Fish fan will recognize immediately. A lefty hitter standing at 6’1″ and weighing in at 195, Conine hits from a very spread stance and possesses some of the best bat speed in South Florida. He has an uphill swing and a power first approach but also exhibits good patience and plate vision allowing him to wait out opposing pitchers. When he squares up, the ball explodes off his barrell and more often than not goes for extra bases. In the outfield, Conine possesses raw arm strength but his mechanics needs some work but as he fills out, improvement will undoubtedly come. Conine will more than likely head to college as he has already committed to Duke but the fact that the Marlins have already put the thought in the minds of the fanbase of hearing the name Conine being announced once again as a member of the Marlins’ starting lineup sometime in the near future is enough to excite any long time fan of the team.

32 – #956 – 3B Kris Goodman – Iowa

Goodman is a 6’1″, 193 third baseman who hits from an extremely spread stance with a front foot toe tap and has an extremely fluid and easy follow through. He retains his looseness very well and swings all the way through the zone with a straight through stride. He has some hidden power and a knack for finding the outfield gaps. Upon making contact, Goodman flies down the line with plus speed and has the ability to turn anything into an XBH. As a senior, he collected team highs in doubles (11) and triples (5). He also stole 10 bases on 14 attempts. Goodman also possesses good patience at the plate which allowed him to total a 36/30 K/BB in 2015. Like a few previous picks, Goodman could also use to improve upon the rate at which he makes contact. On defense, Goodman is more than sufficient at the hot corner, flashing a good glove and good instincts, fielding the big hop almost exclusively. He has an accurate arm that will only get better as he fills out. Natural production suggest Goodman has a good opportunity to turn in to a quality prospect.

33 – #986 – RHP Ryley MacEachern – SUNY Stony Brook
Grade: B-

MacEachern is a sizeable 6’2″ 213 pounder from New York with a good feel for pitching. He throws from a high 3/4 slot with a solid follow through. He tosses a solid plus fastball in the low 90s which he keeps down almost exclusively with good sinking action. The breaking stuff also flashes plus. His slider and curve both spin well with the curve holding good depth and the slider good late break. He also holds a mid 80s changeup which he has a good feel for and pairs well with his heat. MacEachern has shown improvement with each passing season. The question regarding his stuff is whether or not he can maintain consistency. While his arsenal is good, he has shown the tendency to fall off from game to game. If he can figure that out, he could become a viable rotation option. If not, he will still be useable in relief capacities.

34 – #1016 – OF Brandon Rawe – Morehead State (KY)
Grade: B+

Rawe is a 6’2″, 190 outfielder who was a force to be reckoned with in his college career at Morehead State. The country grown Rawe lives up to his namesake by displaying great raw power which allowed him to post an impressive .351/.405/.548 slash line. Rawe has matured quickly. After struggling with plate discipline and contact rate in his freshman year, he came back in his sophomore year to set the Morehead State single season record for hits with 98. This season, he nearly equaled that figure with 92, second in the Ohio Valley Conference, while belting a team high 24 doubles (4th in the OVC) and 12 homers (5th in the OVC). The K/BB ratio has improved every season to the point where this season he had it down to 1.24 while his OBP sat at .432 while getting the most ABs and second most PAs in his conference. His gargantuan senior year led his team to a conference championship. He was also a second team All-Conference selection. If his college numbers are any indication, Rawe is a well balanced two way player with huge power upside. His arm shows above average to plus, he possesses a good glove, and he covers a lot of outfield ground with plus speed. He could use to become a bit more selective at the plate and as a student of the game who has made strides each year, that shouldn’t be much of a problem for him to accomplish under professional tutelege. Rawe is a great find at this point in the draft and could contribute at the major league level sooner rather than later.

35 – #1046 – OF Cameron Newell – University of California – Santa Barbara
Grade: B-

Newell is a wiry 6’1″ 190 outfielder who nearly fell out of the watchful eye of scouts last year before coming back to attract them once again with a great year this year. After hitting just .271/.350/.341 in 2014, he came back to lead UCSB’s offense by slashing .368/.447/.473. While his ability to find holes may have fallen off in 2014, he has displayed great patience since his days as a sophomore, walking more than he has struck out. That trend continued this season as he walked 27 times to 23 Ks. While the lefty bat shows a great work ethic as well as plus speed, working against him is the fact that he had his best year in a season where his BABIP was at an unsustainable .399 and his worst season where his BABIP was as close to average at .291. While he does have some raw tools, makes contact more often than not and has a great hitter’s eye, the book is still partially out on his ability to hit ’em where they ain’t and on what kind of production he can really provide. Since he’s been either extrememly lucky or slightly unlucky its hard to put a finger on exactly what kind of production he could provide at the next level at the moment. Right now, we would put him in the B type prospect range with the prospect for more.

36 – #1076 – LHP Gunnar Kines – University Of Mount Olive (NC)
Grade: B

Kines is an athletic 6’3″ 210 pound lefty out of Mount Olive in North Carolina who enjoyed a decorated college career. This season, by way of a 3.26 ERA in 96.2 IP and an insane 121/24 K/BB, Kines was named the Conference Of The Carolinas Pitcher of the Year. Using impeccable control and an extremely deceptive arsenal, the southpaw struck out 11 batters per game and held down a .247 BAA. On the hill, the tall lefty throws from a 3/4 arm slot after a high leg kick delivery. He makes the most of his long limbs keeping the ball as far away from the hitter’s eyes as possible until he begins his follow through. He comes through the ball well and ramps his fastball up to the mid 90s. He pairs the heat with a solid secondary changeup which tops out around 85 with good fade. He needs to work on keeping the rest of his secondary stuff down. By keeping it up the zone, he gave up 11 homers this season. Other than that, Kines is a sleeper pick with a solid starter’s makeup, a great feel for his fastball/changeup combo and a guy who could surprise in the near future.

37 – #1106 – OF Ruben Cardenas – Bishop Alemany HS (CA)
Grade: B+

Cardenas is an athletic 6’2″ 185 pound high schooler from California who enjoyed an exquisite varsity career. In two years, he hit .417 and OBP’d .502. The outfielder shows plus speed and a prototypical line drive swing. He has college aspirations and will attend it at the University Of Nevada. If he continues to grow and produce on a similar level there, this will be a name to remember a few drafts from now and the Marlins are in on the ground floor.

38 – #1136 – RHP C.J. Newsome – Columbia HS (MS)
Grade: B+

Newsome is a fast as lightning outfielder from Mississippi who once ran a ridiculous 6.60 60. He put that speed to use over his three year high school career, stealing 45 bags, including 21 in his junior year and 23 this year. He also showed he can get on base to use his jets in multiple ways — by way of the walk thanks to great patience (27/18 K/BB) and by way of the hit thanks to a snappy bat (.350 career BA). All of this lead to a career .398 OBP. His ability to stretch any ball that falls as well as his knack for finding the gaps with above average power allowed him to become a career .461 slugger. Newsome is another kid who will continue his education in college but another guy who the Marlins will follow closely leading up to future drafts.

39 – #1166 – 3B Bucket Goldby – Yuba City HS (CA)
Grade: B

Goldby, a 6’0″ 185 pound infielder, is another kid with ties to the Marlins’ organization. He is the son of Scott Goldby, a west coast team scout. After getting his feet wet with the varsity club in 2014, Goldby enjoyed a fantastic senior campaign, slashing .371/.475/.690. His plus power allowed him to smash 17 XBHs including a team high 5 homers. A prototypical power hitter with an uppercut swing at the plate, Goldby maintains his strength through the ball with good hands. If he continues to progress at the college level, he could become a future top 20 round pick. The Marlins will watch this kid with much interest.

40 – #1196 – C Matthew Foley – Rhode Island College

Miami rounded out the draft with Foley, a catcher with a great huge catcher’s build. At 6’4″ 230, the plus sized Foley does a great job covering most of the plate. He has a strong arm as well as athletic hands which make the ball come out quickly. His footwork behind the plate could use to improve a bit when it comes to his crouch to pop time. At the plate, Foley hits from an extreme spread stance. He uses great strength behind a straight through swing which allowed him to post gargantuan numbers in his senior year. All three areas of his ridiculous .453/.515/.872 line were among the top 5 in his conference. His 11 homers led the conference. He rounded out his Triple Crown winning season with a conference leading 45 RBIs. He also exhibited good patience when it came to waiting for his pitch by walking 15 times to 16 Ks. In just his junior year, Foley has shown the skill needed to become a top tier hitting catcher. If the defensive side of his game can improve, he has the athletic ability to become a complete two way player. A great find for the Marlins in the final round of the draft.

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