JJ Bleday drafted No. 4 overall by Miami Marlins - Titusville Herald: Sports

JJ Bleday drafted No. 4 overall by Miami Marlins

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, June 4, 2019 3:00 am

Timing is everything in sports.

When Vanderbilt outfielder JJ Bleday went 5-for-5 during an SEC Tournament game against Auburn on May 22 with Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter in the stands, it could be argued that the baseball future of the former Titusville standout was set into motion. 

Twelve days after that impressionable performance, Bleday was selected by the Marlins with the fourth overall pick in Monday’s first round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Picked after Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman, Texas high school shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. and University of California first baseman Andrew Vaughn, Bleday is slated to join a Marlins organization that is currently striving for its first winning season in 10 years and first World Series since the 2003 campaign.

Bleday, 21, was originally drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 39th round of the 2016 MLB Draft, but chose to attend Vanderbilt University instead of signing right out of high school. His decision proved to be the right one on Monday, as the junior monumentally improved his draft position over the last few years.

After earning top honors in the Cape Cod League in the fall of 2018 by receiving the Robert A. McNeece Most Outstanding Pro Prospect Award, Bleday took the college baseball scene by storm for the Commodores this season. 

Playing right field for the SEC champion Commodores, Bleday’s 26 home runs broke the Vanderbilt single season record, and currently leads all of Division I. His .739 slugging percentage and 178 total bases were number one marks in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) as Bleday helped Vanderbilt with its first regular season conference championships since 2013. He’s reached base in 42 consecutive games and is hitting .351.

In the postseason thus far, Bleday led the Commodores to the SEC Tournament Championship, going 8-for-16 at the plate with two doubles, a home run and three RBIs en route to earning MVP honors for the tournament. He then contributed three hits, including two doubles, in the Nashville Regional of the NCAA Tournament.

Bleday has already received national recognition for his breakout season, being named the SEC Player of the Year. He is also a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, which is annually awarded to the national college baseball player of the year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and a finalist for the coveted Golden Spikes Award, which is given to the best amateur baseball player in the United States by USA Baseball.

The former Rocket is now the second member of his family that has been taken in the MLB Draft. His older brother, Adam, was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 27th round of the 2017 installment of the draft, and is currently a development coach with the Baltimore Orioles organization.

Before beginning his professional career in the Marlins organization, JJ Bleday and the Vanderbilt Commodores will continue their quest for the NCAA Division I Championship. After winning the Nashville Regional on Sunday, Vanderbilt (52-10) has advanced to the Super Regionals, which begin on Friday. 

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.

Titusville, PA

Current Conditions

Humidity: 77%
Winds: SW at 8mph
Feels Like: 68°

Your Extended Forecast


High 81°/Low 59°
Mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the upper 50s.


High 84°/Low 63°
More sun than clouds. Highs in the mid 80s and lows in the low 60s.


High 84°/Low 66°
Scattered thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 80s and lows in the mid 60s.

Featured Ads

Follow us on Facebook

E-Edition Information

E-edition subscription rates

The Titusville Herald’s complete on-line newspaper version (E-edition) requires a subscription.