While pitching was not the backbone of the Low-A (short-season) State College Spikes in their journey to the New York-Penn League title, a number of individuals on the pitching staff had strong years that contributed to the championship run.
During the 2016 season, then-State College skipper Johnny Rodriguez was not hesitant to say his pitching was “not full of strikeout masters,” relying on defense to secure most of the outs. As a result, the Spikes’ staff finished the season 11th of 14 NYPL clubs in strikeouts this past summer.
Collectively, pitching coach Darwin Marrero’s corps compiled a 3.06 ERA (fifth) over 678 2/3 innings pitched (second) while posting a 1.30 WHIP (11th) and league-best 30 saves.
Marrero, 35, who returns to Central Pennsylvania as pitching coach for his third season in 2017, peaked at Double-A as a player then subsequently began his coaching career in 2008 with the Sioux City Explorers of Independent Leagues before joining the Cardinals organization in 2013.
In the exclusive audio interview from mid-September, Marrero touched on eight pitching prospects from the 2016 team, including TCN’s 2016 State College Starter of the Year Steven Farinaro, Bryan Dobzanski, Dewin Perez, Ronnie Williams, Spencer Trayner, John Kilichowski, and Connor Jones.
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