Scouting Yankees Prospect #23: Brett Marshall

Marshall has some of the best makeup around

The Yankees drafted pitcher Brett Marshall in the sixth round of the 2008 MLB Draft out of Ross S. Sterling High School in Texas. He has completely reinvented himself on the mound after coming back from Tommy John surgery earlier in his career to become one of the more consistent pitchers down on the farm.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Brett Marshall
Position: Pitcher
DOB: March 22, 1990
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 195
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

He finished his first season at the Double-A level in 2012 going 13-7 with 3.52 ERA for the Trenton Thunder, his third straight full season posting a sub-3.80 ERA since coming back from the surgery.

"I think it went exceptionally well," he said. "I had a few rough games but that's going to happen, but overall I thought it went very well."

He's been able to build that kind of consistency by changing his game entirely. No longer trying to overpower batters, he continues use a steady mix of a sinking fastball, plus changeup combination to keep hitters off-balance.

The one area of his game that had not been consistent was his slider, a pitch that could flash plus potential but didn't more often than not. However, he believes that pitch in particular turned a corner in the second half last year.

"It's like something clicked towards the end of the year or halfway through the year," he said. "I'd have games where it was one of my best pitches and I'd have games where it was kind of so-so, but towards the end of the year and into the playoffs it was real good.

"I was getting more strikeouts with it, a lot more swings and misses, and better downward action to it. I was real happy with it. I started playing catch already and throwing it on flat ground, and it's coming out good."

Developing a plus breaking ball to go along with the great changeup seems to be the final piece in his developmental puzzle as he inches his way closer to the big leagues. In fact, while the slider has made real progress lately, Marshall plans in bringing back another weapon in 2013.

"I'm bringing back the curve," he revealed. "I was working on it last year. I was wanting to bring it back last year and I talked to Nardi [Contreras], and he said 'don't worry about it right now, you're throwing good and putting up good numbers without it'. But I did throw it in bullpens and I'm starting to throw it now.

"The past couple of times I've thrown it the past couple of weeks it's like something clicked and just off flat ground and playing catch with it, it's been one of my better pitches. Everyone who has been playing catch with me has been like 'where do you learn that from'.

"Something just clicked. I just started throwing it. I don't know what's going on. It's like a 12 to 6 knee bender so I'm hoping I can transfer that to the mound. We'll see."

There were times in his pre-surgery days that the curveball was downright nasty but just wasn't consistent. Now with the curveball coming back, the slider getting more consistent, and with him coming off another good year, Marshall still offers a good bit of long-term ceiling too.

"I'd love to have another pitch just in case the changeup isn't working or the slider isn't working," he added. "Having that extra pitch, having four or five pitches [overall], that's a good thing just in case one or two of them aren't working [on a particular night].

"I just want the curveball back and once I get that consistency down I think I'll be a completely different pitcher with the curveball as well so I'll have another out-pitch to go along with my changeup.

"I love the changeup. I think it's my best pitch. To me I think that's my big pitch that is going to get me to the big leagues and hopefully [allow me to] have a successful big league career with the changeup alone.

"For me I think I could go out there and throw 80 changeups and just be fine with how much movement and how much depth I get on it. I love it, that's my favorite pitch."

He still has to prove that either one of the breaking pitches can be a consistent weapon going forward, but with the way he opened up eyes in big league camp last spring and how he pitched in 2012, his confidence is at an all-time high as he gets close to being big league ready.

"I'm either ready right now or I'm really close. For me it's just getting the consistency. I felt like my fastball command last year was a lot better and my changeup command too.

"My slider command came towards the end and I think once I'm able to command all of those pitches and be consistent game in and game out, I think there's no reason I shouldn't get a shot in the big leagues this year.

"For now it's just gaining that consistency throughout every game and every bullpen, and even playing catch in general," he concluded.

Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

H

BB

SO

ERA

2012

Trenton

13-7

0

158.1

151

53

120

3.52

2011

Tampa

9-7

0

140.1

142

48

114

3.78

2010

Tampa

0-0

0

4.0

5

0

6

4.50

2010

Charleston

4-2

0

72.0

52

22

56

2.50

2010

GCL Yankees

0-0

0

8.0

6

4

8

0.00

2009

Charleston

3-6

0

87.1

98

37

60

5.56

2008

GCL Yankees

0-0

0

6.0

2

2

8

0.00



Repertoire. Fastball, Changeup, Slider, Curveball.

Fastball. Marshall has lost his power four-seam fastball ways in lieu of a good moving sinking two-seamer that averages 91-93 mph and gets really good running action. It is a very good contact out-pitch that he uses to induce harmless ground balls, but he also has the power four-seamer that can get up to 94-95 mph when he needs to attack the outer-half of the plate against righties or pitch inside to lefties.

Other Pitches. Marshall has a great changeup, plain and simple. It too is another good contact out-pitch but it also serves as his primary strikeout pitch. Sitting anywhere from 81-86 mph, it gets tremendous fade and sink, and it's a major weapon against left-handed batters. It also serves as a strikeout pitch against right-handers too though because it also gets a little cutting action. In fact, to the uninitiated it can look slider-like. His slider sits almost in the same velocity level as his changeup but it is tighter and the break is not nearly as consistent. He rounds out his repertoire with a curveball that at one time flashed plus potential. It sat in the high-70s back then but it remains to be seen where it sits these days since he hasn't thrown in a game for a while.

Pitching. Marshall is a no-nonsense approach pitcher who goes right after batters to attempt inducing harmless contact within the first couple of pitches in the lower-half of the zone. Because of that approach he is able to be very efficient in his pitch counts, consistently log a lot of innings, and maintain his form deep into games. He also has tremendous makeup too, one who does not get rattled often and his confidence hardly ever wavers. He also has one of the best work ethics around. His biggest issue is sometimes right-handed batters can look a little too comfortable against him when he does not have the slider working well and they're not chasing the changeup outside.

Projection. Marshall's sinking fastball, plus changeup combination and overall efficiency on the mound are more than enough to slide him into the middle or back-end of a big league starting rotation someday where he could be a big-time innings eater who keeps his team in games. A bit more consistent with the slider and/or more development from a curveball that can be wicked at times, and that ceiling of a third starter type will seem all the more likely. He is one of the safer bets to reach his ceiling down on the farm.

ETA. 2013. Marshall is ready for the Triple-A level in 2013 and, now a member of the 40-man roster, could easily see his first big league action later in the year if injuries arise. Either way he will most likely be competing for a starting job in 2014.

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