Yesterday, with the No. 9 pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, the Miami Marlins selected left-handed pitcher Andrew Heaney out of Oklahoma State. Heaney is a junior, and he's expected to fall somewhere between No. 2 and No. 3 starter as he grows into his pro self. Based on recent history, that is a change of direction for Miami's front office.
The Fish have leaned primarily towards prep pitchers in the first round of the draft, opting for college starters in the second round and beyond. This is evidenced by picks such as the Adam Conley selection in 2011 and the Rob Rasmussen pick in 2010. Neither of these players were highly considered and both were thought of as easy signs for the Fish. In a similar vein, Heaney was looked at as a bit of a reach by both Fish Stripes prospect experts Evans and Eric Weston, but the Marlins ideally will have the ability to sign him easily and get him into their minor league system soon. Overall, it has been six seasons since the Marlins selected a first-round college pitcher, and since 2002, the Fish have only done this twice (Brett Sinkbeil in 2006 and Taylor Tankersley in 2003), both instances to little or no avail.
Jong also notes that the Heaney selection might be a signal of Miami's desire to win now, as they took someone who could be major-league ready soon, rather than a high-ceiling, multi-year project.
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