Marlins’ first-round pick Jacob Berry enjoys first taste of pro career – The Denver Post



Marlins fans got their introduction to the club’s first-round pick, Jacob Berry, on Thursday ahead of the team’s matchup against the Texas Rangers. Miami selected Berry at the No. 6 spot Sunday.

The former LSU standout was at loanDepot Park to participate in batting practice and throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

“There’s so many emotions right now,” Berry said during a news conference. “I’m just really thankful I was given this opportunity, but everybody in the Marlins organization has just been unbelievable since they picked me. There’s not even one word I could use to describe this. I’m just enjoying the moment and really grateful for the opportunity right now.”

Berry proved to be one of the best hitters in the nation over his two collegiate seasons at Arizona and LSU, respectively. His career batting average was an impressive .360.

He really showed his bat-to-ball skills in his sophomore season with the Tigers hitting a .370/.464/630 line and ranked near the top in the conference in multiple offensive categories, including batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.

Berry’s experience and success in one of college baseball’s best conferences should have him prepared for the next stages of his career, while also acknowledging his room for growth.

“I like the competition,” Berry said of playing at the highest levels in college. “If I got to get better, I got to get better and that’s something I believe in and it’s something I’m going to continue to do as a player as long as I play.”

While it’s still unclear at what level he’ll begin his professional career, Berry’s skillset is exactly what the Marlins’ organization needs at the moment. The big-league club has struggled offensively and ranks 26th in the league in hitting.

Manger Don Mattingly joked about how quickly the 21-year-old should be moved through the farm system.

“We’ll tell [general manager Kim Ng] just stick him in Triple-A,” Mattingly joked. “Obviously I don’t have anything to do with where they go or how they start. Obviously he was recognized as one top hitters in college. So what’s next, whether it’ll be rookie ball, I don’t know about that.”

Berry was able to share the day with his family, who watched as he took batting practice, hitting three balls over the right-field fence. He also fielded grounders at third base, firing each one over to Mattingly, who was manning first during the practice session.

Sharing these epic moments with his loved ones was all Berry could ever dream of and more. When he eventually thinks back on his first day at loanDepot Park, he’ll remember how much he and his family managed to take in and enjoy the moment together.

“I didn’t really sleep too much last night just because I was nervous,” Berry said. “But I’m just enjoying it right now. I mean, this is really cool for me and my family and I’ll never forget this moment and this day.”

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