PP 2004 Scouting Report: P, Sam Marsonek

PP 2004 Scouting Report: P, Sam Marsonek

The New York Yankees acquired right handed pitcher, Sam Marsonek from the Texas Rangers organization in December of 1999. In 2004, Marsonek has finally started to live up to his big time potential. (Free Preview)

Vital Statistics
Name: Sam Marsonek
Position: Pitcher
DOB: July 10, 1978
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 225
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Place of Residence: Tampa, Florida
How Acquired: The New York Yankees acquired right handed pitcher Sam Marsonek from the Texas Rangers along with pitcher Brandon Knight in exchange for outfielder Chad Curtis.

Sam Marsonek earned about as much recognition as he could possibly receive coming out of High School in 1996 and was expecting to receive a very high draft choice. Marsonek became nearly a legendary figure at Jesuit High School and since he graduated, every good pitcher that the school has had, gets compared to him. When draft day finally rolled around in 1996, Marsonek was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the first round (24th Overall), but ended up having to face an extremely difficult decision. He had already signed a letter of intent that he was willing to attend the University of Florida. Negotiations were ongoing with Texas, and just as it seemed that Marsonek would be headed to the University of Florida, the Rangers swooped in and signed him.

The Texas organization was persistent in the negotiations with Marsonek, and were convincing enough to pull him away from his top choice of going to college. So, Marsonek set out on his minor league career at the age of 19 years old and was assigned to the Rangers affiliate in Pulaski. Marsonek did not have nearly the type of season in 1997, that he would have hoped for and came to expect after a stellar high school career. He struggled mightily with Pulaski, going 7-3 with a lofty 5.02 ERA over 71.2 innings pitched. And most of these innings were thrown as a starter. Towards the end of the season, Marsonek was moved to the Rangers Charlotte affiliate where his season continued to get even worse. He compiled a horrendous 7.56 ERA in 8 innings pitched. It was a small sample size, but all in all, it was a forgettable season for the tall righthander.

For obvious reasons, Marsonek along with the Rangers, was hopeful that he would be able to turn himself around and be able to become the great pitcher that they believed he could be. However, things continued to get worse for him in the next couple of seasons. His 1998 season was overrun with elbow injuries and he had possibly his worse season of his career up until that point in 1999. The 21 year old had a rough season, going a 3-9 with a 5.54 ERA in what would be his final season in the Ranger organization. At this point, the Texas Rangers started to doubt the abilities of their former first round draft pick. Soon after, they began to shop him on the open trade market in the winter after the '99 season. The team got an offer from the New York Yankees that they were willing to take in mid-December, and when it was all said and done they had shipped Marsonek along with Brandon Knight to the Yankees in exchange for outfielder Chad Curtis.

The 2000 season with the Yankees low A affiliate in Greensboro brought similar unsuccessful results for the newly acquired, Marsonek when he posted a 6-7 record with a 4.25 ERA. However, mostly because of his age (23), he was still promoted to high A Tampa for the 2001 season and for the first time in his minor league career, Marsonek had a very successful season. He had an impressive 5 complete games for Tampa with an 8-8 record while posting a 3.51 ERA. Strangely enough though, Marsonek did not enjoy the same success in his next season when he was promoted to AA Norwich for the 2002 season. He put up a 5.01 ERA while going 5-8 for the season.

For the 2003 season, Marsonek was promoted to AAA Columbus but the organization had decided that since he had only had limited success out of the starting role, they would put his 6' 6" frame into the closer's role. However, even though Marsonek racked up 18 saves, he still put up a bloated 4.48 ERA in 83.2 innings pitched. But, the Yankee organization has had a lot of patience with Marsonek and even added him to the 40 man roster. They are looking for Marsonek to finally show them why they traded from him. The organization has always seen a lot in Marsonek and 2004 would have to be the year that it started to fall into place.

Things did start to come together nicely for Sam Marsonek in 2004. He started the season in AAA Columbus again and was a key part of an excellent bullpen there. However, his season was cut far too short by a knee injury he suffered during the All-Star break when he slipped on a dock at his home in in Florida. Right before that unfortunate event, Marsonek had been called up to the big leagues. Why? Well, he was pitching some outstanding innings for the Clippers and the organization, to this day, thinks the world of Marsonek. The 26 year old posted a superb 3.15 ERA and racked up 17 saves as the club's primary closing option. So, Marsonek got a small opening of a chance in New York after his promotion. He threw 1 1/3 shutout innings. Not a bad debut but he will look to find himself a home in the Yankee bullpen next season, for good. The Yankees sent him to the Arizona Fall League and so far his performance has been outstanding. Next year will be very intriguing for Sam Marsonek if he continues to pitch the way he has here in 2004.

Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

H

BB

SO

ERA

2004 Columbus 1-5 17 40.0 36 12 28 3.15

2003

Columbus

4-4

18

83.2

84

31

57

4.84

2002

Norwich

5-8

0

100.2

111

34

75

5.01

2001

Tampa

8-8

0

138.1

128

39

120

3.51

2000

Greensboro

6-7

0

114.1

114

51

78

4.25

1999

Charlotte

3-9

0

91

111

27

61

5.54

1998

Savannah

0-0

0

7

7

3

4

3.86

1998

GCL Rangers

0-0

0

5

2

0

2

0.00

1997

Charlotte

0-2

0

8.1

14

2

7

7.56

1997

Pulaski

7-3

0

71.2

90

20

65

5.02

Repertoire. Fastball, Slider

Fastball. Marsonek flashes a power fastball that has been clocked upwards of 96 miles per hour on the radar gun. His 6' 6" frame makes him a menacing presence on the mound along with his great heater. The problem is, he doesn't' use this excellent heater enough. He will need to trust it more in order to be successful in the big leagues. But, there is no doubt that this is a plus fastball.

Other Pitches. For the most part, Marsonek is a two pitch pitcher which is probably why he never had much success as a starter. However, with these two power pitches, he can be a dominating Besides his good fastball, he has a hard, nasty slider that he uses as his primary strikeout pitch. If he can just learn to have slightly better command with this pitch, he could end up being a successful pitcher. But the good news is, his command has gotten better and better since the start of the 2004 season.

Pitching. Sam Marsonek is a natural power pitcher as a benefit of his monstrous frame and he is a very imposing and intimidating figure on the mound. With the stuff he has, many expect that he should be a bit more of a strikeout pitcher than he has been early in his career. However, he still just find ways to get outs but should probably learn how to trust his fastball much more. He also needs to learn to locate his pitches much better if he ever wants to be a successful major league pitcher. Marsonek leaves too many fat pitches out over the plate. However, he has good enough overall stuff to still be dominant at times.

Projection. As of now, Marsonek has seems to have settled in to become a very solid relief pitcher with power stuff in his repertoire. He looks to be a relief pitcher for the rest of his career and won't see the starting pitching role in his career ever again. Multiple scouts have said that he has the stuff to be a closer but he needs to greatly improve his command within the strike zone. Also, he will never be seeing that role as long as he is a Yankee. If he makes some improvements, he could still be a setup reliever in the Bronx. It helps to have a lot of organizational report, considering the Yankees really are high on Marsonek arm. They sent him to the Arizona Fall League this year to refine his skills, probably to prepare him for a 2005 audition with the big club.

ETA. 2005. Marsonek is on the Yankees 40 man roster and will probably get a shot to earn a spot in the big league bullpen in Spring Training. The Yankee organization really likes him and Brian Cashman has referred to him as a good, power relief arm in the upper levels of the farm system. They don't seem to acknowledge too many of their farmhands, but the Yankees like Sam Marsonek. He briefly touched the big leagues this year but went down with a knee injury that delayed his arrival until 2005.

PinstripesPlus.com Recommended Stories