Miami Marlins left-handed prospect Andrew Heaney is scheduled to make his 2013 debut tonight, a sigh of relief for Miami Marlins fans.
Heaney, drafted 12th overall in 2012 out of Oklahoma State, is returning from a lat strain suffered in spring training. He was assigned to Advanced-A Jupiter and will start against Daytona at 6:35 p.m.
Heaney suffered the strain during a sim game in the spring, and it has held him out of live action since. He made six starts between the GCL and SAL to end his 2012 season after going down to the signing deadline with the Marlins. He eventually signed for $2.6 million and recorded a 4.33 ERA with 30 strikeouts to six walks in 27 innings.
Muscle strains shouldn't be too surprising for Heaney, who is a lanky 6-foot-3. He reportedly put on muscle over the winter, as well as worked on improving his in-delivery tempo. But whether the lat strain is a freak thing or something to keep an eye on will be answered over time.
Heaney works in the low-90s with a solid fastball that he spots to both sides of the plate. He has a plus slider in the mid-80s with late break. His changeup is still developing, and Heaney has admitted to it still needing work, but the arm action and follow through have improved already. He is ranked third in the Marlins system by Baseball America.
Heaney has a good arm and throws with little effort. Combine this with solid command, and the college left-hander should move quickly through the Marlins system. If he stays healthy, he should reach Miami in the next year or two. His ceiling is likely a No. 2.