Even though the 2018 MLB Draft is still many months away, why not talk about a few potential draft picks the Miami Marlins could make. The Marlins will have the 13th overall pick in the draft as they finished with a 77-85 record. This will also be the first draft pick the Miami Marlins will make under new ownership. The biggest problems for the Miami Marlins has been lack of pitching and a very weak farm system. In the past two drafts, the Marlins drafted two pitchers but one has already needed Tommy John surgery. The Marlins will likely select another pitcher as that’s their biggest weakness but they’re some position players that might also get drafted by the Fish. Here are the Miami Marlins top five 2018 MLB Draft targets.
RHP Logan Gilbert (Stetson)
Stetson University has developed some of the top pitchers in the MLB in Jacob deGrom and Corey Kluber. The junior right-handed pitcher Logan Gilbert could be the next Stetson pitcher to have success in the MLB. In his sophomore season, Gilbert had a 10-0 record with a 2.02 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 89 innings pitched. The Miami Marlins should draft a collegiate arm and Gilbert should be available for them. Being a collegiate pitcher, Gilbert could get to the MLB quick and help the Marlins rotation. Gilbert has one of the most explosive fastballs in the NCAA. His fastball usually sits at 95 mph and tops out at 97 mph with movement. His best secondary pitch is his curveball which is solid but he sometimes struggles staying on top of it. Gilbert also throws a changeup but doesn’t use it very often but has some sink to it.
OF Griffin Conine (Duke)
Even though they don’t need help in the outfield, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Miami Marlins drafted Griffin Conine with their first pick. Griffin is the son of former Marlin great Jeff Connie and an elite college prospect. The top ranked outfield prospect in the 2018 MLB Draft is the Duke Blue Devil Griffin Conine. The South Florida native had a terrific sophomore season but really made a name for himself in the Cape Cod League in which was selected to the All-Star game. In his sophomore season at Duke, Conine batted .298 with 13 home runs and 56 RBIs. He’s not the biggest or strongest kid but he’s very tough and with a lot of fire. He is very similar to his dad and should be a safe bat to pick. Conine should be taken within the first 20 picks in the draft.
LHP Ryan Weathers (Loretto High School)
The Miami Marlins have drafted back-to-back LHPs in the last two drafts. One of those pitchers hasn’t pitched in the Minors yet and the other is recovering from Tommy John. With that being said, it wouldn’t be crazy to think the Marlins take another lefty and Ryan Weathers could be the pick. Ryan Weathers is a 6’2” 210 pound left-handed pitcher out of Loretto, Tennessee. Weathers is another player whose dad is a former big leaguer. Former Florida Marlin pitcher and ex-teammate of Derek Jeter, David Weathers, is the father of Ryan Weathers. The older Weathers pitched in the MLB for almost two decades and has raised one of the top prep prospects in the country. Ryan Weathers is a very solid pitcher with an explosive fastball. His fastball sits in the low-90s and tops out at 94 mph with movement. Vanderbilt commit and Perfect Game All-American.
3B/SS Nolan Gorman (Sandra Day O’Connor High School)
One of the few problems in the Marlins’ lineup is at third base and shortstop. While the Marlins do have some young prospects in those positions, nobody really knows how well Brian Anderson and J.T. Riddle will play. If one or both of them aren’t performing, prep infielder Nolan Gorman could be the Marlins’ first pick come June. Nolan Gorman is a 6’1” 210 pound third baseman/shortstop out of Glendale, Arizona. Gorman is a mature built prospect with good speed and soft hands on defense. He runs a 7.00 60 yard dash and throws 91 mph from the infield. His best attribute is his bat. Gorman can flat out rake! He’s a lefty hitter with great bat speed and power. Gorman could be the best power-hitting high school prospect in the draft. In the Perfect Game All-American Game, Gorman was named the MVP and hit a HR. Arizona commit.
RHP Jackson Kowar (Florida)
The Florida Gators have always been able to develop elite pitching in the collegiate level with guys like Alex Faedo, A.J. Puk, Logan Shore and Dane Dunning. The Marlins could really use a polished collegiate arm that could get through the Minors quickly. Jackson Kowar could be the guy the Marlins most desperately need. The tall, slender right-handed pitcher is probably a Friday night pitcher in over 90% of other D1 programs. In his sophomore season at Florida, Kowar posted a 12-1 record with a 4.05 ERA. It wasn’t his best season but it was still good enough for him to be named a Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-American. Kowar’s best pitch is his fastball as it sits in the low-mid 90s and tops out a 97 mph. His best off speed pitch is his changeup as it has a ton of sink and misses a lot of bats.