If Carlos Rodon goes to Marlins, it would be 'story and a half,' father says

jgiglio@newsobserver.comJune 5, 2014 

  • Twice the fun

    In 2002, Duke’s Jay Williams and Mike Dunleavy went Nos. 2 and 3 in the NBA draft. They set the bar in terms of Triangle teammates taken together in the same first round of a draft. Carlos Rodon and Trea Turner are projected to join this elite list Thursday night:

    YearLeagueTotal picksSchoolTeammates drafted
    2002NBA5DukeJay Williams 2, Mike Dunleavy 3
    1984NBA7UNCMichael Jordan 3, Sam Perkins 4
    1995NBA7UNCJerry Stackhouse 3, Rasheed Wallace 4
    *2005NBA7UNCMarvin Williams 2, Raymond Felton 5
    2002NFL8UNCJulius Peppers 2, Ryan Sims 6
    1985MLB12UNCB.J. Surhoff 1, Walt Weiss 11
    **1999NBA12DukeElton Brand 1, Trajan Langdon 11
    1977NBA14UNCWalter Davis 5, Tom LaGarde 9
    2006NBA16DukeShelden Williams 5, J.J. Redick 11
    2009MLB17UNCDustin Ackley 2, Alex White 15
    1987NBA19UNCKenny Smith 6, Joe Wolf 13
    1981NFL20UNCLawrence Taylor 2, Donnell Thompson 18
    ***2012NBA20UNCHarrison Barnes 7, Kendall Marshall 13

    * In 2005, Sean May (13) and Rashad McCants (14) also were first-round picks.

    ** In 1999, Duke’s Corey Maggette (13) and William Avery (14) also were first-round picks.

    *** In 2012, UNC’s John Henson (14) and Tyler Zeller (17) also were first-round picks.

  • Wolfpack’s first-rounders

    N.C. State has had three in its history:

    PlayerPickYear
    Dan Plesac 261983
    Joey Devine272005
    Andrew Brackman302007

— The connection is almost too obvious; it makes you wonder if anything ever really works out that easy.

The Miami Marlins, based near Little Havana and with a significant Cuban following in south Florida, own the No. 2 pick in the Major League Baseball draft Thursday.

N.C. State pitcher Carlos Rodon, who played for Holly Springs High School, was born in Miami, is of Cuban descent, and will probably be on the board for the Marlins to take him.

Just to throw another cherry on top, the Marlins already have Jose Fernandez, one of the best young Cuban pitchers. For a franchise perpetually struggling in attendance, it would make a lot of sense to take Rodon and pair him with Fernandez.

“That would be a story and a half,” said Rodon’s father, Carlos Sr., who was born in Cuba.

But will the Marlins, who took North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran with the sixth overall pick last year, go with a college player with their pick for a third consecutive year?

“All I know is there are a lot of Cuban fans who would like it if they took Carlos,” his father said.

“Either way, it’s an honor to go in the first round and especially the top 10.”

The Houston Astros have the first overall pick and are projected by Baseball America and USA Today to take high school pitcher Brady Aiken, a left-hander from San Diego. Both media outlets have the Marlins going with high school catcher Alex Johnson, from suburban San Diego.

There are only questions before the draft’s first round begins Thursday night with Rodon and N.C. State teammate Trea Turner expected to go in the top 10 and injured East Carolina pitcher Jeff Hoffman also expected to go early in the first round.

The draft will continue with rounds No. 3 through 10 on Friday and 30 more rounds Saturday. N.C. State catcher Brett Austin and UNC shortstop Michael Russell are projected to hear their names early on Friday.

Pitchers Drew Van Orden (Duke), Logan Jernigan (N.C. State) and Benton Moss (UNC) are among area players expected to be selected by the end of the draft Saturday.

If Miami doesn’t take Rodon, he almost certainly will end up in Chicago. The White Sox have the third pick and the Cubs have the fourth.