Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Scouting the Sally on Brett Marshall

For those of you unfamiliar with Marshall, here's what I had to say about him this past January:
Marshall thrived in 2010, less than a year removed from Tommy John Surgery. His stuff appeared to be all the way back, to boot - low-to-mid-90s four-seamer, low-90s two-seamer, and a knee-buckling low-80s slider. His change-up remains a work in progress, but he's still very young and relatively inexperienced, having been primarily a shortstop in high school. Marshall's mechanics and injury history are responsible for this low-ish ranking, but with a healthy 2011 I'd expect him to jump ten-plus spots on this list.
Shameless self-promotion aside, Marshall performed incredibly well in 2011, improving as the year wore on. His strikeout, walk, and groundball rates improved throughout the seasons and he appears poised for a breakout 2012. Here's what Jake Hopkins of Scouting the Sally had to say:
In the Florida State league this season, Brett Marshall finished in the top-12 in earned run average, strikeouts and WHIP over 140 1/3 innings pitched. Other peripherals include a seven-plus K/9 rate and 55% GB% which combine to form a strong indicator for future success. His BB/9 is still a touch above three and remains an area for improvement overall.

A closer look at Marshall’s second half numbers paint an even more impressive picture. Over 66 2/3 second half innings, Marshall raised his strikeout totals above eight-per-nine and saw walk totals drop to a touch over two-per-nine. Add to this a GO/AO over two and it creates a lethal mixture for opposing hitters to the tune of a 2.50 second half FIP.

Marshall’s ground ball tendencies also improve with runners on base pointing to a pitcher with a developing understanding of how to work out of jams. However, his strikeout rates subsequently drop (which to be expected), but still speaks to a lack of a true swing-and-miss offering.

If Marshall’s improved walk numbers are due to better fastball command, then he is learning how to harness the excellent fastball movement Mike previously reported from late in the 2010 season. It’s great to be able to cut, run or sink a low-90′s fastball, but commanding it well is what often leads to the unraveling of a pitching prospect. Double-A will be an excellent test of whether Marshall’s raw stuff is truly legit, or if he’s simply more advanced than the advanced-A level competition he matched up against.

Stuff aside, Marshall’s greatest accomplishment was the 140 1/3 innings he was able to tally as part of a completely healthy season. Last year he totaled only 84 innings combined across the Gulf Coast League, Charleston Riverdogs and Tampa Yankees.
I suggest you read the article in its entirety, as I left out a few key bits so as to avoid entirely pilfering the fine work of Mr. Hopkins. Suffice it to say that there's quite a bit to be excited about with Brett Marshall.

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