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Marlins giving top prospect taste of Majors

Eddie Altamonte

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Fish give top prospects taste of Majors

02/25/2007 7:06 PM ET

By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com


JUPITER, Fla. -- Some of the Marlins' future pitching stars are currently getting a taste of the big leagues.

Five standouts from the 2005 draft class are experiencing an MLB spring. The 2005 draft may end up being the greatest in club history. One reason is that Florida had so many top picks. That year, the club had five choices before the second round, including three first-rounders.


All five picks were used on pitchers. Four of them are projected to be at Class A Jupiter when the season starts. Chris Volstad, Ryan Tucker, Aaron Thompson and Sean West were drafted out of high school. They will be the foundation of the Hammerheads' rotation.


Jacob Marceaux, taken out of McNeese State University, saw action in Jupiter a year ago and he may open with Double-A Carolina.


"We want to show them where they're going and give them a taste of big-league camp," said Jim Fleming, the Marlins' vice president of player development and scouting. "We like for the big-league people to see them. It's another step for them."


All five are starters, although Marceaux may end up switching to the bullpen. He had some closing experience in college.


Volstad already received a high honor by being named the starting pitcher for the Marlins when they face the Universtiy of Miami on Tuesday at Roger Dean Stadium. If the 20-year-old Volstad had opted to go to college, this would be his sophomore season. And he had made a verbal commitment to the Hurricanes, but ended up signing with the Marlins.


On the move: Volstad, 20, was the 16th overall pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft. The right-hander has a smooth delivery and he could accelerate to the big leagues later in 2007 or 2008. Right-handed pitcher Gaby Hernandez likely will be at Double-A Carolina when the season begins, but he too may break into the big leagues sometime after June.


Names in the game: Ed Romero, the Minor League infield instructor, spent 12 seasons in the Major Leagues. Romero broken in with the Brewers in 1997. He also played for Milwaukee from 1980-85, as well as 1989. Romero was with the Red Sox from 1986-89. In 1989, he also played for the Braves. He wrapped up his playing career with the Tigers in 1990. He appeared in the postseason three times, and twice reached the World Series: Milwaukee (1982) and Boston (1986).


They're No. 1: Two former first-round picks of the Marlins are currently with the big club. Right fielder Jeremy Hermida was Florida's top choice in 2002, and lefty reliever Taylor Tankersley went first in 2004.


Class of '06: First-rounder Brett Sinkbeil is another pitcher on the fast track. The right-hander is pretty polished and he has an effective sinker and fastball. His delivery is pretty smooth, so there won't be much tinkering with his mechanics. One of the pitches he is working on is a changeup. Sinkbeil is currently taking part in Minor League minicamp, which has begun at Roger Dean Stadium.


On the mend: The left-handed West is taking a few days off from throwing after experiencing some shoulder soreness. It's not believed to be serious, and he is hopeful to begin throwing in a couple of days.


What they're saying: "I'm just trying to make an impression with the staff, and I'm just trying to stay as long as I possibly can," said Hernandez, getting a look at big-league camp. "I'll probably go to Double-A and see what happens."

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according to what was published today...Volstad and the others from the 05 class will be pitching this tuesday when UM faces the marlins in jupiter...should be a fun one cause if it would have panned out Volstad would be pitching for UM right now as he has signed with Miami before being drafted by the Marlins in the first round

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