Amateur Signing Bonuses: Marlins

Next up, a look at the Marlins' spending on amateur players…

  1. Josh Beckett, $3.625MM (1999)
  2. Adrian Gonzalez, $3MM (2000)
  3. Livan Hernandez, $2.5MM (1996)
  4. Kyle Skipworth, $2.3MM (2008)
  5. Jason Stokes, $2.027MM (2000)

Touted as the best high school pitching prospect ever, Beckett received the largest contract ever given to a prep pitcher when he agreed to a big league contract guaranteeing him at least $7MM as the second overall pick. He made quick work of the minors, debuting for Florida in 2001. Two years later he was the World Series MVP, and two years after that he was traded to the Red Sox in the blockbuster that brought Hanley Ramirez to the Marlins. Beckett's career with the Marlins consisted of a 3.46 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 609 innings.

Gonzalez was the first overall pick in what is considered one of the worst draft classes in recent memory. He performed well as he steadily climbed the minor league ladder, at least until the Fish traded him and another minor leaguer to the Rangers for Ugueth Urbina to help bolster their bullpen during their 2003 title run. Gonzalez never played a game for the Marlins, and of course has since gone on to star with the Padres. 

The Marlins signed Hernandez shortly after he defected from Cuba as a 21-year-old, and less than a year later he was named the 1997 World Series MVP. He remained with the Marlins until the 1999 trade deadline, when he was shipped to the Giants for two players. Livan finished his Marlins' career with a 4.39 ERA in 469.2 innings. 

Stokes was selected with the 41st overall pick in 2000 after setting the Texas single-season high school record with 25 homers, but injuries (most notably to his hand and groin) derailed his career. He was pretty much through with baseball by 2007, after a minor league career that saw him hit .275/.349/.507 in 1,904 plate appearances. The Marlins dealt him to Oakland before the 2007 season for John Baker

Florida took Skipworth with the sixth overall pick in 2008, and he is slowly making his way through the farm system. A career .226/.285/.381 hitter, the 20-year-old had the best season of his career in 2010, hitting .245/.309/.418. It's also worth noting that Miguel Cabrera's $1.9MM bonus (1999) was the largest ever given to a Venezuelan-born player, and stood as the record for close to a decade. 

14 Responses to Amateur Signing Bonuses: Marlins Leave a Reply

  1. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    I’m a huge fan of the Marlins and I think it would be great if Skipworth turned out to be a good Major League catcher. His ceiling is .280/.370/.520 28/96. He had a better season than last but I really hope the AFL helps him out. They also have some young pitchers who impress me. Alex Sanabia to me, is the same pitcher as Kris Medlen but doesn’t throw as hard, but Tommy Koehler, Elih Villanueva, and Edgar Olmos are 3 pitching prospects who they like. I’m thinking that maybe the Marlins should obviously fix the pen, but they do have 4 good late inning guys in Sanches, Badenhop, Nunez, and Hensley. I think Brad Penny would be a good cheap signing for them as a veteran innings eater with high reward.

    • Stl_Great 5 years ago

      I agree with everything you just said accept Brad Penny. While he might be cheap, he might get hurt again and not be dedicated to get back to his team. (Like he did with the Cards.)

    • I don’t know Skipworth very well… but a .280/.370/.520 is better than any catcher in baseball not named Mauer. I have a hard time believing a guy that good wouldn’t be the top prospect in baseball.

      • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

        thats why it’s called a ceiling.

        • From what I’ve read about him, I don’t agree that’s his ceiling at all. He’s shown little plate discipline in the minors, and his OBP and average are bad. I’m not saying he can’t be a good catcher, but a .520 slugging percentage? Only seven players in the NL beat that this year.

          • ludafish 5 years ago

            Yeah its not looking good for skipworth. the marlins had every indication to try to draft Posey and went to the next best catcher in the draft…they said skipworth originally was like joe mauer when drafted, in the sense he would hit for a high average with medium to little power….but what happened there? he has been awful in the minors, and he is still very young… i dont see it really working out….it would take an amazing turn around. the marlins will need to look elsewhere i think for the future of catching.

  2. j6takish 5 years ago

    How is it that Ugueth Urbina is always involved in the most one sided trades? The Tigers got future LCS MVP Placido Polanco straight up for him

    • Actually, “Flamethrower” aka “U2″ aka Urbina was sent with Ramon Martinez to the Phillies for Polanco, after Ugie got drunk on the plane and got into a fight with half the team. Pudge didn’t like that trade and commented on it at the time. Good thing Pudge isn’t the GM.

  3. j6takish 5 years ago

    Forgot Gonzo was a Marlin

  4. CodyRossFTW 5 years ago

    To think we were all relieved they traded Adrian Gonzalez instead of Jason Stokes.

    • ludafish 5 years ago

      I didnt know that….so at the time the rangers would have taken jason stokes?

  5. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

    That’s a pretty good record for the Marlins. I had no idea that AGon started out with them!And an aside-I am floored to learn that 4/5’s of the Giants pitching staff-and every one of them is good to great-was drafted, signed, developed, and successfully transitioned into the big leagues by the Giants. Now THAT’S a record of achievement.

    • Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez, and Madison Bumgarner are all under 27. That’s a great track record. I also commend the Giants for picking up Javier Lopez, he’s basicly this years’ Damaso Marte in the Postseason

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