Much of the New York Yankees top-line young talent is either working their way up to Double-A or recovering from injury. However, Brett Marshall, a 22-year-old right-hander, who was added to the 40-man roster this past November, could make an impact on the Yankees this season.
Marshall spent all of last season with the Double-A Trenton Thunder posting a 13-7 record, 3.52 ERA in 158.1 innings and striking out 120. He should lead the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders rotation this season and should be part of the mix to make the rotation in 2014.
Marshall, the Yankees’ sixth round pick in 2008, has displayed a very nice groundball rate but only struck out 6.8 batters per nine innings. Despite having a low-90s two-seam fastball he doesn’t miss many bats because he stays around the strike zone. Currently, his second best pitch is a changeup which sits in the mid-80s. His slider and curveball both need work but his slider has shown a lot of potential and could become a very nice secondary pitch if he can harness its potential.
Aside from Tommy John surgery in 2009 that also cost him a portion of the 2010 season, Marshall has been fairly healthy. His 158.1 innings ranked him third in the Yankees system.
Right now, the Yankees’ depth chart has Ivan Nova and David Phelps battling it out for the fifth spot in the rotation with Adam Warren on the outside looking in. Marshall, however, might get the call ahead of Warren in case of injury just so the Yankees can see what he has on the MLB level. Last year they gave Phelps and Warren their shots with Phelps performing well. Warren, however, was not very good, giving up eight hits and six runs in 2.1 innings.
Marshall could develop into a middle or back of the rotation innings eater at the MLB level. Right now, it all depends on his slider and curveball. If he can develop those pitches he can be a consistent winner for the Yankees while holding down the fourth spot in the rotation. Yankees fans should get a chance to see what Marshall has at some point this season. If not, he will surely get a shot at cracking the rotation next season.