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The Miami Marlins first pick in the 2016 Draft, Braxton Garrett will pitch for the Greensboro Grasshoppers this week

The Miami Marlins first pick in the 2016 Draft, Braxton Garrett will pitch for the Greensboro Grasshoppers this week

Braxton Garrett got the call.

Last year’s top draft pick of the Miami Marlins is moving on up. According to the Marlins and MLB.com, Garrett is expected to make his debut for Class A Greensboro sometime next week during the Grasshoppers' homestand.

The seventh overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, Garrett is a left-hander from Florence, Ala. The 19-year-old is ranked as Miami's top prospect, and 39th overall on Pipeline's Top 100.

The move comes after Garrett has shown more improvement on the mound and will continue to ascend through the team’s minor league organizations.

"He's opening in Greensboro this week," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said Saturday. "We're looking forward to getting him under the lights. We're excited to get him competing with the Greensboro club."

Per Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins will closely monitor Garrett's innings, keeping them at about 100 for his first professional season. Even though he signed last year, he didn't pitch in any official games.

If he is as good as the team hopes he can be, the wait will be well worth it for the organization and Major League Baseball.

Because of his lack of experience in the minors, Garrett will be placed on a pitch count. The thought is to see how he handles the situation and progress from there.

"Rather than have him start the year and shut his year down early, we wanted to have him available to finish the year with his teammates, and hopefully a little playoff run," Hill said.

With a fastball, curveball and change-up mix, Garrett spent April pitching in extended spring at the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla.

The Marlins thought so highly of him, they made him the first left-handed pitcher drafted in 2016.

According to his scouting report, Garrett's curveball was regarded by scouts to be among the best in the 2016 Draft class. It's a true plus offering, thrown at 76-80 mph with tight spin and great depth, and he demonstrates feel for moving it in and out of the zone as needed.

Garrett creates good plane and pounds the zone with his 90-94 mph fastball, and it's easy to envision a bit more velocity in his future as he matures physically. His changeup, once fully developed, should serve as a third above-average-or-better offering, all of which stand to play up thanks to his advanced command.

"He looks ready to go," Hill said. "He's excited and ready to go."

In the past, the Marlins have typically started off their high school picks at short-season Batavia in the New York-Penn League. But the organization is confident Garrett is ready for Greensboro. There isn’t pressure on their young prospect, but they want him to show what he can do in this situation.

The Grasshoppers are off on Monday, and open a three-game series with Lexington on Tuesday. There is a chance Garrett will pitch in one of those games.


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