Team encouraged by progress of draft picks
MIAMI — In the first year of its rebuild and the team needing an infusion of young talent, the Marlins have a lot riding on the success of its most recent draft class.
Miami had four picks in the first 90 selections of June’s MLB Draft, choosing outfielder Connor Scott, shortstop Osiris Johnson, catcher Will Banfield and outfielder Tristan Pompey. The early returns have been positive as all four players have quickly moved up from rookie league this summer. Scott, Johnson and Banfield — who all came straight from high school — finished the year in Low-A Greensboro, while University of Kentucky standout Pompey finished in High-A Jupiter.
Speaking with reporters on Friday, VP of Player of Development and Scouting Gary Denbo said he’s been encouraged by what he’s seen out of the young group.
“I was fortunate to be around some really good drafts with the Yankees when I was scouting with that team,” said Denbo, who was hired by Miami in the offseason. “I feel as good about our top guys in this draft as I felt with any of those guys with any of the drafts we had with the Yankees — and there were some really good players running through there.”
Here’s what Denbo had to say about some of the recent draftees:
Connor Scott, Plant HS, outfield, 13th overall
2018 minor league stats:
.218 / .309 / .296, 3 doubles, 4 triples, 9 SB
“We think he has a chance to be a good hitter. We think he has a chance to hit for power. He’s obviously one of the better runners we got in the draft. He’s got a great throwing arm. He has all the elements we’re looking for. Right now, he’s got hittability — he can hit the ball around the field. He’s a line-drive hitter. He needs to put on size and strength. Jose Devers is in that same department. he’s got to gain size and strength. He [and Devers] both have beautiful swings that we think will develop into major league caliber hitters.”
Will Banfield, Brockwood HS (Ga.), catcher, 69th overall
2018 minor league stats: .238 / .308 / .385, 3 HR, 18 RBI
“He is an exciting young catcher. It’s very difficult to find catchers in the draft. We feel lucky that we got him. He had a chance to go to Vanderbilt, but he decided to come and be a Miami Marlin. This kid — he’s athletic, he’s flexible, he’s got a great arm. He’s aggressive. He’s one tough son of a gun. All the elements that we think make up a major league catcher. These guys are young and it’s going to take some time to develop but we feel really good about the guys we got in the draft.”
Tristan Pompey, University
of Kentucky, outfield, 89th overall
2018 minor league stats:
.299 / .408 / .397, 3 HR, 23 RBI
“[I was] really surprised by how he came out of the gate. He actually jumped rookie league level. Played great in Greensboro. Finished the year in [High-A Jupiter]. I’m really happy with his performance. Happy with the type of player he is. We also think he has a chance to play in the corner outfield and hit for power for us.”