Marlins Alumni Update: Both In The MLB Draft and Minor Leagues

Marlins Alumni Update: Both In The MLB Draft and Minor Leagues

MOREHEAD CITY—The Marlins are proud to announce that seven former and one current Marlins were drafted last week, and have now signed minor league contracts. Among the former Marlins drafted: Andrew Amaro (University of Tampa, 35th Round), Marc Brakeman (Stanford, 16th Round), Tyler Burden (Chowan, 20th Round), David Lucroy (ECU, 20th Round), Logan James (Stanford, 31st Round) and Jason Morozowski (Mt. Olive, 13th Round), who was signed with the Marlins heading into the season, heard their names called in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft.

We also bring up the point that current Marlin, Kodie Tidwell (ULM) was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 26th Round and will be heading to Florida later this month for Rookie-Ball. Plus another recent Marlin, Hayden Jones from 2013, who hit .275 with five doubles, four RBI, 29 runs along a team-best 11 stolen bases in 48 games was drafted in the 29th Round. While many of these players are just beginning the journey, let's take a look at how some of the best Marlins in years past are doing in the minor leagues.

Chris Taylor (MLB, Seattle Mariners)

Taylor opened new doors as the first Marlins prospect to reach the big leagues, earning the call earlier this season after playing 33 games in AAA Tacoma. During his first and only season with the Marlins back in 2010, Taylor hit .250 in 25 games of work stealing nine bases.

Chase McDonald (High-A, Houston Astros)

McDonald holds the Marlins' all-time record in average (.403), hits (73), homeruns (13) and RBI (51) during the 2011 season in Morehead City. McDonald ended up playing two seasons with the Marlins (2011, 2013), holding almost every major offensive record in franchise history. This season, the 6-foot-4 right handed hitter from East Carolina University is hitting .274 in 42 games, through June 16, this season for the Lancaster JetHawks.

Zach Borenstein (Triple-A, Arizona Diamondbacks)

Borenstein played during the Marlins' inaugural 2010 season, hitting .224 in 44 starts leading the team in doubles (9) and home runs (4) during the year. The Marlins reached the playoffs that season, finishing 34-20 on the year thanks in large part to an incredible 44 RBI campaign. Steadily moving his way up the ranks, the Eastern Illinois product has been promoted from AA Mobile to AAA Reno for the last 18-plus games. Formerly of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim organization, Borenstein mashed 28 homeruns back in 2013 at High-A Inland Empire.

Joe Sclafani (Triple-A, Houston Astros)

After starring during his Coastal Plain League career, Joe Sclafani has risen right up into the Houston Astros ranks as a starting 3B for the Fresno Grizzlies. Appearing in 34 games for the Grizzlies, Sclafani has made an instant impact hitting .279 on the year with nine RBI's. During his Morehead City days, the Dartmouth graduate scored 40 runs during the 2011 season, which featured a two-year run as the Marlin with the most walks (53) in franchise history.

Ryan Cranmer (Class-A Short Season, Miami Marlins)

The Marlins former slugger from right here at Croatan High School (2010) made the fun and easy transition (by name) into the Miami Marlins organization. During his two-year stint with the Marlins (2012-13), the local product slugged 21 homeruns and 63 RBI's on a career-record 108 hits. Cranmer played 12 combined games in Rookie Ball last year but has battled injury concerns that have kept him off the field here in the early part of the season.

Danny Diekroeger (Class-A, St. Louis Cardinals)

The former 10th round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals (2014) has played in 59 games this season hitting .288 for the Peoria Chiefs. This comes four years after Diekroeger played in 43 games for the Marlins back when he was just 19 years old, finishing the year with a .320 OBP in the Coastal Plain League. The Stanford Cardinal grad earned Pac-12 All-Defensive Team Honors in 2014. 

Chad Oberacker (Double-A, Oakland Athletics)

Oberacker left the Morehead City Marlins after making just one appearance in the 2010 season. That was then, and now Oberacker (Tennessee Tech) has made a name for himself in the minors hitting .301 this season in Double-A notching 15 doubles, the most on the team.

Jake Gronsky (Low A-Ball, St. Louis Cardinals)

Gronsky has worked his way through multiple levels of minor league baseball, now working in Class-A level baseball playing in 17 games this season. Back in the summer of 2011, Gronsky played in 12 games for the Marlins finishing the year with 14 RBI's.

Shawn Armstrong (Triple-A, Cleveland Indians)

The New Bern native has pitched in 22 games for the Columbus Clippers. Armstrong has bounced up and down the minor league ranks since being drafted in 2011, rising from short season ball all the way up to the International League. During his days with the Marlins, Armstrong started 16 games from 2010-2011 winning 10 of those games throwing a franchise record 118.1 innings, striking out 140 batters.

Calvin Rayburn (Class-A, Philadelphia Phillies)

Rayburn, a 16th round pick back in the 2014 MLB Draft, has pitched nine innings this season with the Phillies A-Ball affiliate, the Lakewood BlueClaws. Back during his Morehead City days, Rayburn posted a strong campaign with the Marlins going 4-2 with a 2.32 ERA in nine starts. In that 2013 season, Rayburn threw a complete-game striking out 56 batters over 62 innings of work, the most of any pitcher on the staff that season. 

Sam Ott (Eastern Michigan, Marlins 2010)

Ott owns the record for most games played with the Marlins, 54, registering 204 at bats in his CPL career. Unfortunately, Ott could never make it farther than his days at Eastern Michigan, which came to an end following the 2014 season. As of now, Ott has earned a business analyst role with General Motors. Here's an audio interview during his playing days back with the Marlins.

The Coastal Plain League is the nation's hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 19th season in 2015, the CPL features 15 teams playing in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL gives college players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts. The CPL has had over 1,200 alumni drafted and 79 of those – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut; while another notable alum - Russell Wilson - won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.comand follow us via Twitter @CPLBaseball.