Choosing to fill a massive need, the Marlins drafted California high school catcher Kyle Skipworth on Thursday with the 6th pick overall.
Skipworth, a left handed hitting catcher, hit .584 with 12 home runs and 44 RBIs leading his high school team to the state semifinals. The 6’3″ catcher from California is the first Marlins catcher to be drafted in the first round since Charles Johnson in 1992 – who was the Marlins first ever draft pick. He has also drawn comparisons to Minnesota’s Joe Mauer.
The Marlins were looking at Florida State’s Buster Posey who was taken #5 overall by the San Francisco Giants. There were rumors that Posey had some serious bonus demands that would have proven a challenge for the Marlins to meet – but we will never know now.
Extra Reading: Marlins draft picks for 2008.
The Marlins have also acted fast – they have extended a contract to Skipworth worth $2.4 million. He will officially sign once he graduates and should report to the Gulf Coast League and play for Jupiter June 15 – 20. After that, it is off to Class A Jamestown in the New York-Penn League.
Jim Fleming, the Marlins vice president of player development and scouting, compares Skipworth to Joe Mauer but with a bit more power when the two where high school catchers. If Skipworth hits on this projection, the Marlins have a very nice catching prospect in their future – probably just in time for when the new stadium opens play in 2011.
Skipworth also offers some refreshing traits to the Marlins as they not only look for a player but something for the franchise to build around. They may have hit a home run in terms of character as well with Skipworth who is an excellent, dedicated student as well as a very humble kid with great perspective. His brother is preparing to leave for his 2nd tour in Iraq which is a source of pride for Skipworth. Read more about Skipworth from the Herald.