Brett Marshall was drafted in the 6th round of the 2008 draft from Baytown in Texas. He jumped onto scouting radars after his velocity jumped into the mid 90’s during his senior season. Along with his mid 80’s slider, Marshall was a raw, projectable arm that had some mechanical inconsistencies and control issues. Initially committed to a junior college in Texas and then Rice University, Marshall signed with the Yankees for 850,000 dollars, the largest signing bonus the Yankees gave out in 2008.
Marshall debuted in the GCL after signing but only threw 6 innings. In 2009 he was in Charleston working on his delivery and learning a curveball. The results weren’t great. In 87 innings he had a 4.45 FIP with a strike out rate of 6.18 K/9 and a 3.81 BB/9. In July he underwent full blown Tommy John surgery.
Marshall made his 2010 debut back in the GCL in late June. After two starts he landed back in Charleston where he pitched for most of the year. The 2010 results were pretty encouraging- in 84 innings he posted a 7.5 K/9 with a 2.3 BB/9 and 2.98 FIP. He ended the year in Tampa where he figures to open the 2011 campaign.
Marshall has always had the tag of “Texas fireballer” because he’s been able to chase his 4 seamer up to 97 at times. Despite his size (only 6’1”, 195 lbs) he’s pretty strong and has always had good velocity. He compliments his plus fastball with a sharp, biting two-seamer that bores in on righties at around 89-93. The Yankees let him scrap the curveball he was working on in 2009 for his slider which has the makings of an above average out pitch. When his arm angle is consistent and he doesn’t get around on the ball, it’s got good two plane break in the mid 80s. He also throws a change-up which is average right now.
Marshall’s biggest obstacle obviously is staying healthy right now. He’s still yet to throw 100 innings as a professional so it should be interesting to see how he holds up under a (hopefully) full workload in 2011. Right now he’s flying a bit under the radar- all the tools and the makeup are there for him to really breakout this year. Hopefully he’ll take advantage of that. He’ll have to find a bit more consistency with his slider and refine his change-up, but it’s nice that he has two plus pitches (fastballs) right now. He’s very easy to root for also- reportedly the Yankees love his work ethic and his competitiveness especially coming back from his injury.
If you want to check out a real good breakdown on Marshall right now, look at Mike Newman’s game report on Scouting the Sally. He’s pretty excited about Marshall and sees big things for him in the future.
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