Deven Marrero is a shortstop from Davie who goes to American Heritage High School. He looked like the Broward player most likely to be picked on the first day in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, which had its first three rounds last night. But Marrero didn't hear his name. And it was another long wait today, till in the 17th round Marrero was scooped up by the Cincinnati Reds.
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With all the thousands of baseball prospects scouted in advance of the draft, it's harder to project than the drafts of the other major sports. Marrero's experience is a common one. The expectation of his being picked on the first day was part of what led to the conclusion that he'd never show up at Arizona State, the powerhouse program where he'd committed to spend his collegiate career, if he had one. So now the Sun Devils may have a promising young shortstop after all.
Or at least they have a better chance of having him. So begins a negotiation wherein Marrero and his agent are liable to tell the Reds that Marrero is far more talented than his draft position and that he deserves a "super-slot" -- that is, to be paid out of proportion with the players drafted around him. Being a smaller market team, the Reds may be less inclined to pay top dollar for Marrero. In that case, it's a question of whether to realize his pro ambitions now or to attend college in hopes of improving his draft stock after a few years playing against the best in the college ranks. Basically, bird in the hand, or the one in the bush.
Here's a short video of Marrero from MLB.com. After the jump, video of a scout comparing Marrero to a couple of shortstop prospects from last year.