Although he played only 16 games with the Stockton Ports in 2014, Tyler Marincov came into the 2015 season as one of the few position players on the Ports’ roster with previous experience at the High-A level. Given how well Marincov has played through the first four weeks of the 2015 season, he may not be with the Ports that much longer.
With a hit in five at-bats during Tuesday’s 8-1 Stockton matinee win over the Lancaster Jethawks, Marincov stretched his hitting streak to nine games. He is batting .447 during the streak, with two homers and 10 RBI. On the season, the Oakland A’s 2013 eighth-round pick has a .323/.380/.505 line in 99 at-bats.
Success in the California League is nothing new for Marincov. In those 16 games with the Ports last season, he hit .317/.377/.533 in 60 at-bats. That time with Stockton culminated a strong first full professional season that saw Marincov hit .268/.347/.486 with 18 homeruns for the A’s two full-season A-ball affiliates.
Marincov said that his time with the Ports last season – although brief – has helped him get comfortable quickly in 2015.
“It was nice to be able to get here last year and get to know where you are going to be and what the league is all about before you get there [full-time],” Marincov said before the Ports took on the San Jose Giants on Friday night. “Hopefully I can build off of the little bit of success that I had here last year.”
The A’s selected Marincov after he had a standout career at North Florida. During his sophomore and junior seasons, Marincov hit .332 with 17 homers and 30 stolen bases in 114 games. He also walked nearly as often as he struck-out. After he signed with Oakland, Marincov was assigned to short-season Vermont. He got his feet wet with the Lake Monsters, hitting .215/.303/.313 in 62 games. He had a solid stint at the A’s fall Instructional League in 2013 and had much more success in the Midwest League in 2014.
Although Marincov’s overall line with the Snappers in 2014 was solid (.261/.343/.479), he went through several peaks and valleys during the long season. He said he learned a lot about how to handle the grind of a full season last year.
“It was [a grind],” Marincov said. “To start, the weather there was a grind in-and-of itself. I didn’t really know what to expect. Going into it, I had heard about the dog days of August, but once I actually experienced it, I realized it’s hard. You have to learn how to adjust your routines for that and trim some fat off from that routine. You find out some of the routines that work specific to you and focus on that.”
Marincov’s athletic background is a bit unique. In high school, he was a two-sport star who drew attention from NCAA programs as a quarterback. Although Marincov says there isn’t much he translates from the football field to his baseball experience, he does credit his time on the gridiron for giving him a strong off-the-field work ethic.
This off-season, Marincov focused his training on making a few mechanical adjustments to his swing that he worked on with former A’s minor league hitting coordinator Marcus Jensen during the 2014 fall Instructional League. With those changes incorporated, Marincov felt comfortable this spring.
“I got to work on a lot of stuff during this off-season,” Marincov said. “It always helps to feel fresh coming back in. I felt pretty good and I don’t feel like it took that long to get back into it.”
With their win on Tuesday, the Ports pulled to a .500 record on the season at 13-13. The Ports got off to a slow start as a team this season, but as Marincov’s bat has warmed, so have the Ports’ fortunes as a squad. Stockton has won seven of nine games during Marincov’s hitting streak.
The right fielder said the Ports are starting to gel as a team.
“I think there is some good chemistry here,” Marincov said.