With the 18th pick in the draft, the Marlins took lefty high school pitcher Chad James out of Oklahoma.
At 6’4″ and 185lbs, the youngster sports a mid-90s fastball with what looks to be a power curve, but his location and control is inconsistent. Obviously, with a high school draft pick, there will be a need for patience. He will physically have to mature and of course, work on his ability to locate his pitches. Good stuff otherwise.
James is not the first player for the Marlins taken from Oklahoma – not even the first pitcher from there as well. Brad Penny was a Marlin pick that developed into a very good pitcher and the Marlins are hoping to go to the well again with James.
Draft Picks (From FloridaMarlins.com)
Round 1, Chad James, LHP, Yukon (Okla.) High School
Pitching is always at a premium for the Marlins, and once again they drafted it first. The 18-year-old James draws comparisons to Jon Lester. He’s 6-foot-4, and has had his fastball clocked in the 93-94 mph range. A good athlete, he hit in the middle of the order on his high school team. Has been working on his changeup. As a senior, James was 8-2 with a 1.23 ERA. In 63 1/3 innings, he allowed just nine runs, striking out 100 and walking 33.
Round 2, Bryan Berglund, RHP, Royal (Calif.) High School
Staying the course with pitching, Berglund is another prep product who stands 6-foot-4. Because of his size, he has a projectable frame. His fastball has been clocked at 94 mph. What the Marlins like is how polished he is for his age. Went 5-2 with a 1.58 ERA and two saves in 11 appearances. Also played outfield when he didn’t pitch. He added two home runs and 25 RBIs at the plate.
Round 3, Marquis Cooper, OF, Edison (Calif.) High School
At 5-foot-9, 170-pounds, Cooper was the 97th overall pick, and Florida’s first position player in the Draft. From Huntington, Calif., Cooper played football in high school. With excellent speed, he is a center fielder who will be a candidate to lead off. He is more of a speed than power threat.