Florida selected 12 pitchers from rounds 4-30 on Wednesday with the hopes of restocking a farm system that has seen most of its top arms rise to the big leagues.
Since 2008, Chris Volstad and Sean West have made their Major League debuts, with Volstad cementing himself in the Florida rotation and West emerging as one of the top young pitchers in the game.
Several other Minor League pitchers are close to breaking into the Majors, which means the Marlins needed to reload on pitching. After selecting two pitchers in the first three rounds on Day 1, Florida opened Day 2 with its third pitcher of the Draft, right-hander Daniel Mahoney.
A Draft-eligible sophomore from the University of Connecticut, Mahoney has a power arm to go along with a quality curveball.
Standing 6-foot-3, Mahoney was one of the top arms out of the Huskies' bullpen in 2009. While his 4.18 ERA is not great, his 26 strikeouts over 28 innings show that the hard-throwing reliever can overpower opposing hitters.
Mahoney is projected by some scouts as a better professional pitcher than he was as an amateur because they feel his pitches will be more effective against wood bats. In college, Mahoney would often make a good pitch and still give up a weak single when hitters would get enough of the aluminum bat on the offering to shoot it past a defender.
Florida got away from pitching in the fifth and sixth rounds, selecting shortstop Chase Austin and first baseman Dustin Dickerson.
Austin was the top hitter for Elon and was valuable with his glove as well, playing all four infield positions. The junior was named Co-Player of the Year in the Southern Conference after hitting .359 with 23 home runs and 82 RBIs over 59 games.
Dickerson was another top player in his conference, posting the second-highest batting average in the Big XII among hitters with at least 200 at-bats. A big left-handed hitter, Dickerson led Baylor in hitting with a .377 average. His 10 home runs were the second-most on the team.
The Marlins selected three more pitchers to close out the first 10 rounds.
Joshua Hodges was the first high-school arm Florida selected on Day 2. The seventh-round pick from Mississippi has a power arm and similar build to Marlins ace Josh Johnson. Standing 6-foot-6, Hodges can throw 94 mph and has three other pitches in his arsenal -- a curveball, slider and circle changeup.
In rounds 8-10, the Marlins selected Stephen Richards and Matthew Montgomery, a pair of collegiate arms who could develop into big league contributors.
The left-handed Richards was one of the top relievers in the SEC, using his excellent slider to amass a 1.82 ERA over 34 2/3 innings for Arkansas.
Marlins -- Top five selections
|18||LHP||Chad James||Yukon HS
|66||RHP||Bryan Berglund||Royal HS
|97||CF||Da'Shon Cooper||Edison HS
|128||RHP||Daniel Mahoney||U Connecticut
|158||SS||Chase Austin||Elon U
|Complete Marlins Draft results >|
Montgomery was the ace of the UC Riverside pitching staff before tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow prior to the 2008 season. After recovering from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery, the big right-hander posted a 4.55 ERA over nine appearances.
Florida selected a second pitcher who had Tommy John surgery with its pick in the 21st round. Right-hander AJ Ramos was the top arm for Texas Tech before having the surgery in '08. The right-hander struggled after returning quickly from injury, but he can be a steal if he regains his pre-injury form.
The Marlins will finish up their Draft on Thursday with rounds 31-50. Florida will look to pick up some more quality arms as well as some hitters to round out its 2009 Draft class.
Here is a look at the Marlins' picks for rounds 4-30:
Round 4, Daniel Mahoney, RHP, University of Connecticut: A Draft-eligible sophomore, Mahoney was a reliever for the Huskies this past season. The 6-foot-3 right-hander has a 93-95 mph fastball and knee-buckling curveball. Mahoney has struggled with command at times, but he is expected to have success as a professional because of his good stuff.
Round 5, Chase Austin, SS, Elon University: Austin had a big junior year and was named Co-Player of the Year in the Southern Conference after hitting .359 with 23 home runs and 82 RBIs over 59 games. He played mostly third base for Elon, but he has starting experience at all four infield positions.
Round 6, Dustin Dickerson, 1B, Baylor University: A skilled left-handed hitter, Dickerson led the Bears in hitting with a .377 average and was second in home runs with 10. The junior had the second-highest batting average among Big XII hitters with at least 200 at-bats.
Round 7, Joshua Hodges, RHP, Ingomar Attendance Center HS (Miss.): Hodges possesses a fastball that can top out at 94 mph, as well as a curveball, slider and circle changeup. At 6-foot-6, the 17-year-old has a similar build to Marlins ace Josh Johnson.
Round 8, Stephen Richards, LHP, University of Arkansas: Standing 5-foot-11, Richards looks like a regular person off the field, but his devastating slider quickly reminds everyone that he is an athlete. The junior was the Razorbacks' best reliever, compiling a 1.82 ERA over 34 2/3 innings.
Round 9, Jobduan Morales, C, Jose S Alegria HS (Puerto Rico): Morales has faced good international competition as the cleanup hitter for Puerto Rico's 18-and-under national team. The switch-hitter is not limited to playing behind the plate, as he has experience at both corner infield positions as well.
Round 10, Matthew Montgomery, RHP, UC Riverside: Montgomery had a 4.55 ERA over nine appearances in 2009. The 6-foot-4 right-hander missed all of the 2008 season due to Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery. Prior to the injury, Montgomery was the ace of the Highlanders' staff.
Round 11, Thomas Wade, SS, University of Kentucky: Another Draft-eligible sophomore, Wade, who goes by Chris, was a second-team All-SEC selection after hitting .313 (49-for-157) with 10 doubles, one triple, six homers and 42 RBIs. He also was a 2008 freshman All-America selection.
Round 12, Kyle Jensen, LF, St. Mary's College (CA): Projected by some to go as high as the third round, the former left-hander pitcher now is a 6-foot-4 slugging outfielder with tons of raw power. Strikeouts could be a concern, as he racked up 58 in 213 at-bats this season.
Round 13, Tyler Curtis, RHP, College of Southern Idaho: The 6-foot-3 righty throws a fastball that touches 94 mph, to go with an improved curveball. Curtis was considered a top prospect in his region after going 8-2 with a 4.29 ERA over 16 starts.
Round 14, Sequoyah Stonecipher, LF, Grossmont College: Stonecipher caught scouts' attention after hitting .355 with 17 homers this spring. He was named to the 2009 Southern California All-America Team.
Round 15, Chad Cregar, RF, Western Kentucky: Cregar is a powerful lefty pull hitter who stroked 40 home runs in his two years at WKU. Cregar hit .325 and drove in 63 runs in '09.
Round 16, David Peters, C, Lakewood HS (CA): Considered the top hitting catcher in his area, Peters hit .402 with 37 hits, 21 runs scored, a team-high 39 RBIs and 11 doubles. He also is considered a solid defender behind the plate.
Round 17, Brent Keys, CF, Simi Valley HS (CA): Keys is a left-handed hitter who can play all three outfield spots. He comes from the same program that produced big leaguers Jeff and Jered Weaver.
Round 18, Brett Bukvich, LHP, Mississippi: The 6-foot-4 fifth-year senior was 9-3 with a 4.42 ERA in his 13 starts for the Rebels.
Round 19, Erick Carrillo, RHP, Cal State San Bernardino: Carrillo's fastball sits in the low 90s mph, and he has a very sharp slider. Scouts project the 6-foot-1 junior as a middle reliever with room to develop.
Round 20, James Smith, CF, Appalachian State: Smith was all-conference as he had one of the most consistent offensive seasons in Southern Conference history, hitting safely in 52-of-54 games, including three double-digit hitting streaks.
Round 21, AJ Ramos, RHP, Texas Tech: Ramos was the ace of the Red Raiders' staff before tearing a ligament in his right elbow in 2008. After undergoing Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery, the 5-foot-10 Ramos was 5-5 with a 5.21 ERA in 12 starts this season.
Round 22, Terrence Dayleg, SS, Western Kentucky: The senior's .327 batting average was the third-highest for the Hilltoppers. Dayleg had the second-most doubles for WKU with 18 in 59 games.
Round 23, Thomas Peale, RHP, Lewis-Clark State College: Peale can strike hitters out, sitting down 50 hitters in 60 1/3 innings. The 6-foot-3 senior earned all-region honors in 2009 after going 5-1 with a 4.18 ERA over 12 starts.
Round 24, Michael Brady, SS, UC Berkeley: A three-year starter at Cal, Brady hit .260 with four home runs and 24 RBIs as a senior.
Round 25, Sean Teague, RHP, Southern Polytechnic State University: The 23-year-old threw a perfect game earlier this season against Reinhardt College.
Round 26, Brent Weaver, 3B, Oklahoma City University: Weaver was named the 2009 NAIA Player of the Year after blasting an NAIA-high 37 home runs to go along with a .419 batting average. Weaver also scored 94 runs, drove in 91 runs and posted a .952 slugging percentage.
Round 27, Nathan Simon, 2B, Pepperdine University: An outfielder at Pepperdine, Simon will transition to the infield after hitting .317 with a team-high nine home runs as a senior.
Round 28, Holden Sprague, RHP, Fresno State University: Sprague was the top starter for the Bulldogs as a senior. The 6-foot-2 senior posted a 7-4 record and a 4.20 ERA.
Round 29, Jared Eskew, LHP, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo: The left-hander compiled a 6-2 record and 5.01 ERA with 57 strikeouts in 73 2/3 innings in his final season with the Mustangs. Eskew was the Friday night starter at the beginning of the season, but he became a reliever prior to the start of Big West play.
Round 30, Harold Brantley, CF, University of Connecticut: Brantley hit .312 with eight doubles, two triples and a home run as a junior for the Huskies.