Name: Jeff Marquez
DOB: August 8, 1984
Height: 6' 2"
How Acquired: The New York Yankees selected Jeff Marquez in the 1st round (41st Overall) of the 2004 MLB Amateur Draft. Marquez then received a $850,000 signing bonus from the Yankees. Marquez was then assigned to the Yankees Gulf Coast League affiliate.
The story of Jeff Marquez is actually more of a feel good story than anything else. Until this 2004 season, Marquez was never looked at as anything but a decent high school pitcher. To put things in perspective, the young righthander did not even get a look from scouts in his senior season at Will C. Wood High School. To the contrary of many highly touted draftees, there was no build up or hype to this young man. So, he quietly would then move on to Sacramento City College.
Actually playing baseball was not an immediate concern for Jeff Marquez when he enrolled at Sacramento City College. He redshirted his first year there for one main reason. That was to mature and get bigger and stronger. Marquez entered the program as an overlooked 145 pound freshman. However, two years later he would depart as a finely tuned and stronger pitcher. "There, I got the best help from my coaches. They helped me out a lot with my mechanics and weight training to help me become a better pitcher," says Marquez. So, after taking a season to get stronger, the righty was ready for action in 2004. A year earlier, his coaches had seen the potential in him. For that reason, they spent much of the time helping Marquez get stronger and ready him for this season.
Jeff Marquez came into the 2004 season and he truly did prove what kind of pitcher he really was. Being inexperienced, he did have to start the season in the bullpen. However, that stint did not last very long. Head Coach, Andy McKay noticed that Marquez has become far more advanced of a pitcher than anyone could imagine. His hard and diligent work had paid off in a big way. Marquez ended up as the most dominating pitcher on the Sacramento pitching staff. He led the team in wins with 8 and he also led starters with his impressive 1.98 ERA. So, all of a sudden, Marquez started getting that attention from Major League teams that he couldn't get a glimpse of two years earlier.
When draft day did come, Marquez ended up getting more attention than he ever could have dreamed of. He was selected by the New York Yankees in the 1st round (41st overall). "I'm very proud to be a Yankee. I'm prouder here then I would be with any other team," said Marquez. The 19 year old righty never expected to go so high in the draft but so far, he has shown that he earned his high draft choice. The Yankees assigned him to the Gulf Coast League but he very quickly mastered that league and has since moved on to the Staten Island Yankees.
|Sac. City College||18||6||0||8||2||2||59.2||21||13||1.98||45||16||64|
Repertoire. Two-seam fastball, Four-seam fastball, Curveball, Changeup
Fastball. As even Jeff Marquez says, he is not a power pitcher. However, he can still bring it with some good heat. Marquez's fastball is usually in the low 90's and topping out around 92 MPH. He relies on the location and command of his two seam sinking fastball. He will get a lot of ground balls using that pitch. He sets up his two seam fastball with a riding four seam fastball.
Other Pitches. Besides his good sinking fastball, Marquez has a curveball and a changeup. His curveball is a very solid pitch that breaks slightly away from the right handed hitters. But, it is more of a 12 to 6 curve. His changeup is a pitch he relies on heavily. It is another setup pitch for his sinker and he gets many hitters to get weak swings on it.
Pitching. Marquez is a classic sinker ball pitcher. He is going to get a lot of ground balls and he will have to rely on the fielders behind him. But, the strikeouts will come as well as he has lively stuff and throws fairly hard. He has excellent command for a 19 year old pitcher.
Comparison. Ramiro Mendoza or Mariano Rivera. Not that Mariano Rivera and Ramiro Mendoza are similar pitchers but more so that Jeff Marquez has qualities of both pitchers. Marquez has an almost identical body type to Mariano Rivera to go along with that same smooth motion and live arm. But, the style of pitching is where the comparison to Mendoza arises. Marquez throws slightly harder than Mendoza but has the same good sinker. Both will get a lot of ground balls.
Projection. Jeff Marquez projects to be the type of pitcher that everyone thought that Ramiro Mendoza would eventually be. Except, Marquez is projected to be an even better version. He could be a very successful sinker ball pitcher down the road.
ETA. Late 2008. Take this ETA for what it is worth but it is nearly impossible to determine the path of a 19 year old pitcher's career so early on. Barring any injuries, he projects to move very quickly, nonetheless.