By now you must have seen the news that the Nats injured first baseman, Adam LaRoche, is headed to the disabled list. The plan by the Nats brass is to just have LaRoche rest and rehab his shoulder, wishing to avoid surgery. Whether or not this is advisable is a debate for another day. Anyway, with Morse struggling at the dish, Stairs appearing several years past his best pinch hitting days, many in NatsTown have called for the first MLB appearance for 2006 First-Round Draft pick, Chris Marrero, to tide things over for LaRoche.
By now the 2006 1st round pick for the Nats is in his 5th year of professional baseball, having narrowly avoided bust status despite three consecutive seasons at A+ Potomac. 2011 was the first year that Marrero did not appear on any of the major Top Prospect Listings. That being said, Marrero was drafted out of high school, at the age of 17, making the first baseman just 22 years old now; relatively young for someone with 5 years in MiLB.
There is still hope to make a serviceable Major Leaguer out of Marrero as his numbers have steadily improved, at the plate and in the field, each of the past three years. With the improved defense, Marrero has silenced many critics; count Capitol Baseball among those, after seeing him in big league Spring Training this past year.
There are several things that Marrero needs to do before he can break into the MLB lineup:
- Rediscover his power stroke - on pace to have 25+ fewer RBI this year
- Keep the K-Rate down - get it under 20%
- Increase his OBP - .325 would be a career low
- Continue to improve on defense - currently at .997 Fielding %
If all goes well, we should expect to see Marrero in a Curly W for a September callup - he simply needs a bit more seasoning in the minors.