Colin Moran will be a Marlin.
The Miami Marlins selected the North Carolina third baseman and Iona Prep graduate with the 6th pick in Major League Baseball's first-year player draft, which began Thursday night.
Latest college sports stories
"Thanks everyone for the support," Moran tweeted after being selected. "[C]ouldn't be more excited to be part of the Marlins."
Moran, a junior at North Carolina, is hitting .348 with 13 home runs and 86 RBIs. He leads the nation in RBIs, is fifth in runs scored (64) and third in walks (60) for the Tar Heels, who have reached the Super Regionals this season.
On Tuesday, Moran was named one of three finalists for the Golden Spikes award, presented to the nation's best amateur player.
He is the nephew of B.J. Surhoff, the first overall pick in the 1985 draft who enjoyed a 19-year major league career with Milwaukee, Baltimore and Atlanta. Moran’s brother, Brian, pitches for the Seattle Mariners' Triple-A affiliate. His uncle, Rich Surhoff, pitched briefly for the Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers. And his late grandfather, Dick Surhoff, played for the Knicks and was a standout pitcher on the U.S. fast-pitch softball team.
Fred Gallo, the longtime baseball coach at Iona Prep who retired after last season, said earlier this week that Moran has always been dedicated to improving his game.
"He loves the game obviously, but knows the price to pay to be good at something is you've got to be consumed by it and you have to constantly do it," Gallo said. "That's one of the main reasons he is where he is."
Going ahead of Moran in the draft was Stanford pitcher Mark Appel, who went first overall to the Houston Astros. He was followed by Kris Bryant, a third baseman from the University of San Diego, who went to the Chicago Cubs. Pitcher Jonathan Gray from Oklahoma went third to the Colorado Rockies, High school pitcher Kohl Stewart from Texas went fourth to the Minnesota Twins, and outfielder Clint Frazier, a high schooler from Georgia, was taken fifth by the Cleveland Indians.