Florida Marlins Top 50 Prospect Countdown #44

Pitcher Randall Messenger is a frustrating prospect. He has all the talent necessary to be a major league quality pitcher. But there is something that is holding him back. Find out what it is in this edition of the Marlins Insider's Top 50 Prospect Spotlight

Florida Marlins Prospect Spotlight Countdown #44

Randall Messenger
Vital Stats:
Position: Pitcher
DOB: August 13th, 1981
Birth Place: Sparks, Nevada Height: 6'3 Weight: 240 lbs.
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Acquired: Drafted in the 11th Round (326th overall) in the 1999 amateur draft out of Sparks High School, Nevada

Overview: Randall Messenger is an extremely talented pitcher. However, as of yet he has not reached his full potential. The reason he has not began to touch the level of his talent is not a mechanical flaw in his delivery nor a question of style or approach. Randall Messenger is not fully developing as a prospect because for whatever reason he can't keep himself out of trouble. If he were to ever focus on his career and see the opportunity his talents could bring him instead of whatever else is distracting him. He could be as good as he wants to be.

Repertoire: Messenger carries a good but overwhelming fastball that he generally throws in the 92-94 range. He also throws a very effective curveball and change. Messenger can not be looked at as a pitcher that has a dominating repertoire. But when you take the sum of his parts and consider that he has good command of his pitches and better than average location. One can understand why the Marlins are hesitant to give up on this oft-troubled prospect.

Style: Messenger pitches with a very confident approach. He seems to understand what exactly his strengths and weakness' are and he doesn't try to do anything more than what he is capable of. The only major flaw in his approach is that since he relies so much on good location he often tries to over-finesse his pitches on the corners instead of occasionally going after hitters.

Projection: Messenger will start this season most likely at Double A Carolina where he never was able to find his place after a suspension to start the season for breaking team rules. Coincidentally, Randall also finished his 2003 with a suspension after again breaking team rules. This last suspension led to the Marlins withdrawing their invitation for Messenger to participate in the Arizona Fall League and the chance to be added to the 40 man spring training roster.

Estimated Time of Arrival: The Marlins have given Randall Messenger every chance to succeed during his 5 years in the Marlins system. His off the field issues have already cost him draft position coming out of high school, the opportunity to pitch in the Arizona Fall League, and most importantly the chance to fully develop his potential. The Marlins patience is wearing thin. He already has two strikes against him. One more and he will be out. However, if he does decide to focus on his career in 2004 he could end up getting an invite to spring training in 2005.

























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