The Miami Marlins went heavy on position players in the second day of the MLB Draft on Friday.
Miami picked eight position players, including shortstop Ben Deluzio of Orlando First Academy in the third round and Cal State Fullerton junior catcher Chad Wallach, the son of longtime major-league third baseman Tim Wallach, in the fifth round.
Marlins vice president of scouting Stan Meek said the team did not make a concerted effort going into Friday to draft strictly position players.
“That’s really how the board fell,” Meek said. “We needed position players, but we didn’t really say we were going to target position players. I didn’t even realize it until it went down to the end, but we took a lot of athletes. It just kind of fit with how the board fell.”
Deluzio hit .400 with 20 RBI and 32 runs scored this past season. He is a Florida State signee, but Deluzio told the Orlando Sentinel on Friday night that he was going pro.
“I’m looking forward to staying on the infield and making a difference for the Marlins,” Deluzio told the Sentinel.
That news should make the Marlins happy. Meek said that Deluzio may not stay at shortstop for the long haul, but they like his abilities and think he will stay in the infield.
“He’s a very athletic high school kid,” Meek said. “He’s lean. Has a lot of room for strength. He’s really an athlete that can swing the bat and can really run.”
After the Marlins took right fielder K.J. Woods of Fort Mill (S.C.) High, they grabbed the first of two Fullerton players in Wallach. The Marlins also selected first baseman Carlos Lopez in the 10th round.
Chad Wallach has hit .303 with two home runs, 13 doubles and 33 RBI for Fullerton this season. His father, Tim, played from 1980-1996, mostly with the Montreal Expos and Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Marlins had projected Wallach as a third-rounder, and they happily grabbed him in the fifth.
“He’s a big, durable catcher,” Meek said. “Obviously, the bloodlines are great. Anytime you find the son of big leaguers, the percentage of those guys that play in the big leagues is pretty high.”
On Thursday night, the Marlins grabbed North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran with the sixth overall pick. Later Thursday night, Miami picked up three pitchers: left-hander Matt Krook of St Ignatius (Calif.) College Prep, right-hander Trevor Williams of Arizona State and right-hander Colby Suggs of Arkansas.
Meek felt that Krook was one of the top left-handers in the entire draft, and he fell to the Marlins at pick No. 35 (between the first and second rounds).
“The ball comes out of his hand right,” Meek said. “It’s a plus breaking ball right now.”
Williams was 6-6 this season with a 4.12 ERA, but the junior had 81 strikeouts and 26 walks in 111.1 innings.
“He was up to 96 even in the fifth inning,” Meek said. “He throws a lot of strikes. Been a good competitor for them. He’s kind of been their main guy.”
Meek said Suggs was drafted with the understanding that he would be a reliever. Suggs, a junior, set Arkansas’ single-season record for saves (13) and he also had a 1.74 ERA this season.
“I saw him at the SEC tournament,” Meek said. “He was up to 96, 97. And an 84 mile-per-hour curveball. Really aggressive. Kind of in the (St. Louis Cardinals closer) Jason Motte mold. He’s 6 foot but really strong and durable and aggressive.”