6/7/2013 11:41 P.M. ET
Miami adds Fullerton catcher Wallach in fifth round
By Joe Morgan / MLB.com
Cal State Fullerton catcher Chad Wallach was almost the Marlins' first pick of Day 2.
Instead, Miami decided to select Ben DeLuzio and hope that Wallach remained on the board.
"We were thinking about him in the third," Stan Meek, the Marlins' vice president of scouting, said. "I don't know. Just something told us he might last a little bit, so we decided to just hold on and see if it would work.
"He really was the guy we wanted, but we did take a little bit of a chance. I felt like [Wallach] falling into the fifth round ... was a very good pick for us."
The Marlins addressed the backstop position by drafting Wallach with the 152nd overall pick of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft during the fifth round on Friday.
"He's a big, durable catcher," Meek said. "I like guys who are big, strong, physical, durable guys behind the plate. … This guy's a guy who can really handle a Major League season."
Wallach enjoyed his best season for the Titans as a junior, helping Fullerton reach its first NCAA Super Regional since 2010.
He earned a spot on the 2013 Big West Conference Second Team with a batting average of .303 and a .393 on-base percentage. He led the Titans with 13 doubles this season and threw out seven runners on 17 steal attempts.
"He's always been a tough kid over there," Meek said. "He's always kind of led that team defensively, so we just liked ... everything about him with the mentality that he brings to the ballpark."
Wallach is a great fastball hitter who has a little more trouble hitting the curve and tends to swing around outside pitches. His bat speed and leverage indicate that he projects as an average power-pull hitter.
He has the proper throwing mechanics behind the plate and average arm strength for his position. His throws are typically on target when his body is under control, and he likes to get dirty behind the plate and on offense, as well. He is likely a backup catcher in the professional ranks.
The Marlins' top catching prospect is J.T. Realmuto, a converted high school shortstop playing for Double-A Jacksonville.
In the Majors, Miami is employing three catchers, with 23-year-old Rob Brantly in the starting role. Backup backstop Jeff Mathis is 30.
Wallach is the son of former Major Leaguer Tim Wallach, who serves as the Dodgers' third-base coach.
"Obviously, the bloodline is great," Meek said. "Any time, I think, you find the son of big leaguers, the percentage of those guys that play in the big leagues is pretty high -- real high -- compared to the guys whose parents or dad did not play in the big leagues."
Marlins select high schooler DeLuzio with 80th pick
Ben DeLuzio was the first name called for Miami on Friday, when the Marlins selected the shortstop with the 80th overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.
DeLuzio joined third baseman Colin Moran as the second position player Miami drafted.
"He's a very athletic high school kid," Stan Meek, the Marlins' vice president of scouting, said. "He's lean, and he's got room for a lot of strength to come."
DeLuzio was a two-sport star in high school and had several Division I football scholarship offers. He ultimately chose baseball and is committed to Florida State.
Although DeLuzio plays shortstop now, he will likely move to center field -- where his plus speed and average arm profile well -- as a professional.
"I don't see him staying at short," Meek said. "We'll probably look at him at second, we'll look at him in center. We may start him at short, but I think he'll move from there eventually."
Should DeLuzio sign with the Marlins, he will join an organization rich in outfield talent. Three of the team's top five prospects entering the season were outfielders Christian Yelich (No. 1), Jake Marisnick (No. 2) and Marcell Ozuna (No. 5).
Ozuna has excelled in right field since April 30, earning a promotion from Double-A Jacksonville to fill in for injured slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Ozuna leads the Marlins with a .326 batting average and ranks second with 16 RBIs.
Yelich has thrived as the Suns' leadoff hitter, and Marisnick has shown impressive power, belting two grand slams in one game on May 30.
At the plate, DeLuzio makes consistent contact with a slashing line-drive swing. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, he is strong and has surprising pop. He batted .424 with a .514 on-base percentage and 36 runs scored in his final season at First Academy in Orlando, Fla.
"We've seen him both in the infield and outfield," Meek said. "We just really like his tools."
DeLuzio was one of eight position players drafted in eight picks by Miami on Day 2 of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Outfielder K.J. Woods was taken in the fourth (112th overall), catcher Chad Wallach went in the fifth (142nd overall), outfielder Ryan Aper was tabbed in the sixth (172nd overall) and shortstop Justin Bohn went in the seventh (202nd overall).
Second baseman Iramis Olivencia came off the board in the eighth (232nd overall), shortstop Aaron Blanton went in the ninth (262nd overall) and first baseman Carlos Lopez rounded out the Marlins' picks in the 10th (292nd overall).
"That's really just how it fell. That's kind of how the board fell," Meek said. "It's kind of coincidental, really, because we needed position players, but we didn't really say we were going to target position players. We just let the board play out."
DeLuzio's time playing football has left him somewhat raw, but he has a good feel for the game and enough athleticism to make the necessary adjustments. And if he opts not to sign with the Marlins and goes to FSU, he will be following in his sister's footsteps.
Alexa DeLuzio, a guard, was the second-leading scorer for the Seminoles' women's basketball team that advanced to the second round of this year's NCAA tournament.
Day 3 of the Draft continues with Rounds 11-40 streamed live on MLB.com on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m. ET.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. You can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
In the Pipeline:
After taking three pitchers in four picks on Day 1, the Marlins focused on the rest of the diamond on Day 2. More specifically, Miami shifted its attention up the middle, taking four middle infielders with its eight picks on Friday.
The Marlins picked a good time to begin restocking at second base and shortstop, as the organization has cashed in on young talent at those positions in the Majors recently. Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and second basemen Derek Dietrich and Donovan Solano have all spent significant time in the big leagues this season.
Before Friday, shortstop Avery Romero and second baseman Noah Perio were the Marlins' top two remaining middle-infield prospects in the Minors.
Woods earns Marlins' pick with raw talent
The Marlins used the 112th overall pick to add outfielder K.J. Woods on Friday in the fourth round of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Woods is a high-risk, high-reward player. He won't turn 18 until July, but he is already listed at 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds.
"Woods is a big, strong, physical, left-handed power hitter," Stan Meek, the Marlins' VP of scouting, said. "We think the power's really good there."
Woods gave up playing football and basketball in high school to shift his focus entirely to baseball.
The biggest question surrounding himis whether he will be able to turn his raw talent into usable skills.
His best tool is his power, but he may have to adjust his approach at the plate to unlock it in games. His swing has a tendency to get long, leading to strikeouts.
For all his physical gifts, Woods has below-average speed. He probably is athletic enough for right field, but first base may be his ultimate position. He is committed to Santa Fe Community College in Florida.
Marlins snag outfielder Aper in sixth round
The Marlins drafted outfielder Ryan Aper with the 172nd overall pick of the First-Year Player Draft, taking their fourth position player in as many picks on Friday.
Miami took three pitchers after drafting North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran sixth overall on Thursday night.
Aper has done nothing but hit for the last two years at Lincoln Land Community College (Ill.). Among Division II junior colleges, he ranked first nationally with 17 home runs and third with 51 stolen bases. He led Lincoln Land with a .462 batting average, a .540 on-base percentage, 82 runs scored, 188 total bases and 55 RBIs.
"Aper really has kind of both," Stan Meek, the Marlins' vice president of scouting, said. "He kind of has the power and speed."
Aper is very athletic and has solid tools, but scouts aren't completely sold on his hitting ability. He has a quick swing, but some still wonder how he will adjust to better pitching.
He has good power, and at 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, room to get stronger. He covers ground well in center field and has a strong arm. He is committed to Middle Tennessee State.
Aper was the second outfielder taken by the Marlins on Friday, joining fourth-round selection K.J. Woods, who could potentially move to first base.
Third-round shortstop Ben DeLuzio could potentially move to center field -- Aper's listed position.
Shortstop Bohn taken at top of seventh round
The Marlins selected shortstop Justin Bohn with the 202nd overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft on Friday.
"Bohn is a real solid, plus runner, plus arm, solid defensive guy," Stan Meek, Miami's vice president of scouting, said. "We'll see how much the bat comes along."
Bohn recently signed with Oregon State after spending two outstanding seasons at Feather River College in Quincy, Calif. He was named the Golden Valley Conference Player of the Year for a second consecutive season after leading the Golden Eagles with 30 stolen bases and 39 runs scored.
Bohn, a former first-team All-American, ranked second on Feather River with a .335 batting average, a .412 on-base percentage and a .483 slugging percentage.
He joins an organization with several young, talented middle infielders.
The Marlins have used 23-year-old Derek Dietrich and 25-year-old Donovan Solano at second base this season. Starting shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, a rookie, is 24 years old.
Miami drafts second baseman Olivencia at No. 232
The Marlins made second baseman Iramis Olivencia the 232nd overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft on Friday.
Olivencia, out of Oklahoma State, will strive to match the success of left-hander Cliff Lee -- the Marlins' eighth-round pick in 1997.
The product of Arlington Country Day School in Jacksonville, Fla., was the third middle infielder drafted by the Marlins on Day 2. Shortstops Ben DeLuzio and Justin Bohn were taken 80th and 202nd overall, respectively.
Miami has both talent and youth at second base in Donovan Solano and Derek Dietrich, depth that should give Olivencia plenty of time to develop in the Minors.
Blanton joins Marlins' other infield picks
The Marlins spent their ninth-round pick -- and the 262nd overall selection -- on shortstop Aaron Blanton, the third consecutive middle infielder taken by Miami.
Blanton was one of best bats in the Richland College lineup during his two seasons with the Thunderducks, leading the team in RBIs both years.
He batted .335 and hit five home runs in 2013 and led Richland with a .443 on-base percentage and 17 doubles.
A shortstop, Blanton joins an organization that has young talent at the position in rookie Adeiny Hechavarria and 2012 third-rounder Avery Romero.
Blanton will aim to emulate the path to the Majors taken by the Marlins' 2008 ninth-round selection -- left-handed reliever Dan Jennings.
Since making his MLB debut in April 2012, Jennings has a 1.88 ERA in 28 appearances out of the bullpen.
Marlins wrap up Day 2 with selection of Lopez
With their final pick of Day 2 of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft, the Marlins took first baseman Carlos Lopez at No. 292.
Miami's 10th-round selection is a proven clutch bat.
Lopez hit walk-off home runs in back-to-back games for Cal State Fullerton on May 19-20, the second of which clinched the Big West Conference championship and an NCAA tournament appearance for the Titans.
The two clutch homers were two exclamation points on a stellar senior season by Lopez, who has a .335 batting average, a .412 on-base percentage and a team-best 51 runs scored.
The homers also proved beneficial for Miami's fifth-round pick, Chad Wallach -- Lopez's teammate at Fullerton. The two will continue as teammates in the Marlins' farm system once the Titans' postseason run comes to an end.
"You're always looking for players that come out of good programs that know how to win," Stan Meek, the Marlins' vice president of scouting, said. "[They're] both productive guys from a winning program, and it's hard to beat that combination. Also, we like them as prospects, so it fit in a lot of ways."
Lopez, a first baseman, was the eighth position player taken by Miami in as many picks on Day 2. The Marlins drafted UNC third baseman Colin Moran No. 6 overall, followed by three pitchers, on Day 1.
Fourth-rounder K.J. Woods, an outfielder, could potentially switch to first base.
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.