Despite last night’s ghastly 11-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves, the Miami Marlins realize their ugly April is behind them and they will continue to win. Their timely hitting, solid pitching, and the return(ing) of CP Heath Bell has been the recipe for victories across the board. The last time the Miami Marlins lost a series is more ancient history than contemporary. The Fish realized they had a top ten pick because of a vile year in 2011.
Knowing the contrast in wins already mounting between this year and last, and the new found gung-ho attitude by the Miami front office, it was only appropriate to use this pick to draft Oklahoma State LHP Andrew Heaney with the ninth overall choice. The Marlins normally choose high school arms with tons of upside and electric stuff. While this is truly paying off with the early hot start by last years pick RHP Jose Fernandez, the Fish this year wanted a starter that already had his contributions ready to go. Heaney will not be promoted with rapidity, as his development is most important, but it is key to have a stable of lefties available.
Last season, Miami fielded a full five man rotation of righties. The results were disastrous. RHP Chris Volstad was airmailed for RHP Carlos Zambrano in what will be (and is so far) one of the most lopsided trades in the last decade, and RHP Josh Johnson was lost for the season and has yet to regain his full velocity. Heaney may not be the best pitcher in the draft, or even the best lefty (that is up for debate) but he brings a wealth of top tier experience and a command unseen by most pitchers in the recent drafts.
He has an electric fastball, one that will beautifully complement the deception of LHP Mark Buehrle. His breaking stuff is dynamite, but his key to performance is his wondrous command. He can launch heaters to both sides of the plate for strikes, and uses his breakers as his out pitch.
Heaney may not have a spot on the roster with the youth and the way things are going for the Miami Marlins, but in the least bit if he performs he could provide himself a spot and give the Marlins a veteran trade chip down the road. The possibilities are endless for Heaney and the Fish as just about everyone feels the Marlins offices made the right choice here.
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