Backstop Man

The Marlins are banking on first-rounder Kyle Skipworth.

The Florida Marlins came into last month’s draft looking for their catcher of the future. They had their eye on two young studs who’d been wowing scouts for the past year. There was FSU’s Buster Pose and an 18-year-old phenom from Riverside California, Kyle Skipworth. When the Giants took Posey a pick ahead, the Marlins jumped all over Skipworth. They might have gotten a steal.

At 6-4 and 195 pounds, Skipworth is already drawing comparisons to Twins all-star catcher Joe Mauer. He’s a left-handed hitter with a rifle for an arm. Skipworth finished his most recent season with an ungodly .543 average, 13 home runs, and 47 RBIs. He also set a California high school record with 18 consecutive hits and was named the 2008 Gatorade National Player of the Year. Skipworth is touted as a potential power-hitting catcher from the left side of the plate, which is all kinds of awesome. The Marlins will have him start in the Gulf Coast League sometime in the next two weeks, and hope to put him behind the major-league plate sometime in the next couple of seasons. For now, they’ll go with what they’ve got as they face the last-place Washington Nationals at Dolphin Stadium. First pitch is 12:10 p.m. Get your tickets at florida.marlins.mlb.com.
Wed., July 2, 12:10 p.m., 2008

 
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