Unfortunately, there's another half of an inning the Marlins have to figure out. The one that involves putting runs on the board. Baseball is tricky like that.
The Marlins have been having historic amounts of trouble with the offensive part of baseball this season, and little immediate help outside a handful of prospects seems to be on the way. The organization is light on sluggers, which means you can bet it will be searching for some beefy bats in next week's MLB Draft, which takes place June 3.
The Marlins hold the fourth-overall selection and have their eyes on a player some believe could provide help right away — reigning SEC Player of the Year and current NCAA home run leader, Vanderbilt outfielder J.J. Bleday. The six-foot three-inch, 205-pound college slugger was hitting .357 with 26 home runs (school record) and 66 RBIs in just 58 games as of Sunday.
He's good at baseball, specifically murdering baseballs and changing the scoreboard.
Last week, Marlins brass — including Derek Jeter himself — checked out Bleday, who went 5-5 with Marlins decision makers in attendance. Not a bad audition.
The #Marlins are clearly taking the upcoming amateur draft seriously. On hand to watch Vanderbilt (Bleday) at the SEC Baseball Tournament in Birmingham : Special Advisor Jorge Posada, VP Gary Denbo, President Mike Hill & Marlins CEO Derek Jeter.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) May 22, 2019
???? by @KyleParmley pic.twitter.com/StcYGcxSJX
The guys over at Fishstripes had this to say about the possible newest Marlin:
JJ Bleday is a pure hitter in every sense of the label. True corner outfielder with a plus hit tool and plus raw power from the left side of the plate. Bleday yields equal parts Yelich, Stanton and Ozuna in his game; his ceiling as a big leaguer could be comparable to theirs, too.
Well, damn! That'll get attention. It's like saying Josh Rosen is a mixture of Dan Marino and Dwyane Wade.
If the pick isn't Bleday, most are laying their money on Andrew Vaughn, a first baseman from California. If both are gone, there are rumors some of the Marlins brass want to go with CJ Abrams, a speedy shortstop who plays for Blessed Trinity Catholic H.S. (Roswell, Ga.).
No matter what, you can bet your car title that the Marlins are taking a bat next week. Pitching is on the back burner. The Marlins need sluggers and fast.