Friday, January 11, 2008

#10 Prospect: Jeff Marquez



Age: 23

Height: 6'2"

Weight: 175 lbs

Position: Starting Pitcher, Right Handed.


Jeff Marquez was the 41st pick in the supplemental round of the 2004 draft out of Sacramento City College as a compensation pick for the loss of free agent David Wells to the San Diego Padres. Jeff essentially is a power sinkerball pitcher that throws a 2 seam fastball with a hard downward plane, a four seam fastball that tops out at about 95, a plus change-up, and an average curveball that he has been developing for the last two seasons. Jeff hammers the zone with his two seam fastball to get ground balls but he has also shown the ability to strike batters out(career 6.78 K/9). Marquez controls his fastball and devastating change-up very well but is still having trouble locating his curveball.

This year at Trenton, Marquez had mixed results. His strikeouts were down, 5.45 K/9 compared to 7.99 K/9 in 2006. His GO/AO ratio was also down at 1.67 compared to 2.03 last season. His overall numbers were still excellent as he pitched 155 innings with a 3.65 ERA. He was much better in the first half of the season then the second as his ERA was almost one and a half runs higher(3.18 to 4.47 ERA).

Marquez is a very interesting prospect, he has great stuff, great control but as a "sinkerball" pitcher his GO/AO ratio concerns me. A good sinkerball pitcher should post a GO/AO ratio of 3.00. Marquez's best ratio was 2.03, which he posted last year in Tampa. In Marquez's defense, he isn't exactly pitching with a major league defense behind him so his GO/AO ratio could see a significant increase if he pitched on a major league ball club. The high fly ball total could be due to the increased frequency with which he used his curveball, a pitch he has yet to master.

Marquez's future rides on his development of his curveball. He has two major league ready pitches in his fastball and change-up but if he doesn't develop the curve, he may wind up in the bullpen- which isn't a bad thing. This may be the best spot for Marquez anyway since all of the rotation spots are filled. Brian Cashman has already stated that Marquez will be tried out as a reliever in Spring Training.

Jeff will most likely start the year in Scranton in the bullpen unless he makes huge strides with his curveball. If a pitcher lands on the DL, Marquez will probably be one of the first few arms to be called up to take over. If his curve becomes a legitimate pitch, Marquez could end up being a solid #4 or #5 starter in a major league rotation. If not, his future is in the bullpen where he could become an excellent set up man.

Credit: Patrick Teale

28 comments:

The Career AAAA Player said...

My fellow blogger davey made an excellent comparison to Marquez- Julian Tavarez.

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