News from Bill Hass on Miami Marlins Top Draft Pick Andrew Heaney:Will Marlins’ No. 1 pick come here?

from Bill Hass on Greensboro Grasshoppers Baseball at

Will Marlins’ No. 1 pick come here?

Just when it appeared the Miami Marlins weren’t going to sign their No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, the parties got a deal done.

Andrew Heaney, a left-hander from Oklahoma State, agreed to terms and completed his mandatory physical before the 5 p.m. deadline on Friday. He received a reported $2.6 million signing bonus, $200,000 less than the slot money as the ninth overall pick in the draft.

“He’s not a real physical guy but he’s considered to be the best amateur left-hander in the draft,” said Brian Chattin, the Marlins’ director of player development who is in Greensboro for a few days. “Our scouting department was really excited when he was available there at nine. They feel real strong about him and he’s a guy who can hopefully be a pretty quick mover for us.”

Heaney, considered a very polished pitcher, was an All-American for a so-so Oklahoma State team. He went 8-2 with a 1.60 ERA and had 140 strikeouts with just 20 walks. Batters hit .180 against him. Baseball America writer Jim Callis said Heaney would rank as the Marlins’ No. 3 prospect right now, behind Jose Fernandez and Christian Yelich.

So, as someone the Marlins hope can be a “quick mover” through their system, will he be in a Hoppers uniform this season?

“I think it’s certainly a possibility that you could see him at some point,” Chattin said. “It’s not out of the realm by any means.”

But not right away. Chattin explained that Heaney will report to the Marlins’ minor-league complex at Jupiter. The club doesn’t know how much he’s been throwing since the end of his college season in late May. He’ll get stretched out, throw some bullpen sessions and build back to game speed. Once he’s ready to see action, he’ll probably report to short-season Jamestown. If and when he gets sent to Greensboro, it likely will be in August.

After pitching just under 120 innings in college, Heaney’s work load will be monitored closely.

“We would definitely have a plan in place as to what the maximum number of innings is that we would be comfortable for him logging the rest of the season,” Chattin said.

Heaney projects as a starter, so the Marlins want him to go through that preparation routine even if he only pitches three or four innings. They did something similar two years ago with Robert Morey, giving him a start-by-start plan that got him to a limited number of innings.

The Marlins also signed their No. 3 pick, shortstop Avery Romero, just before the deadline. He received a reported bonus of $700,000, considerably above the slot money of $450,000. Since Romero was drafted out of high school, it’s unlikely he’ll be with the Hoppers this season. He’ll start with the Gulf Coast League Marlins and possibly see some time in Jamestown. Depending on what happens in spring training, Romero could be the Hoppers’ starting shortstop in 2013.

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