As reported yesterday by Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington, the Baltimore Orioles have signed Washington Nationals first-base prospect Chris Marrero. For the Nationals, that’s one player that they shouldn’t be sad to see go.
When the Nationals selected Marrero in the first round of the 2006 MLB Draft, he was widely regarded as the organization’s top talent and was expected to eventually become the big-league first baseman. Marrero certainly has the size, 6-foot-3 230-pounds, but he severely lacked in the skills department.
Marrero slowly improved over eight seasons in the minor leagues. For his minor league career he hit .282 with an on-base percentage of .350 and a slugging percentage of .445. One of the key tools you look for in a first baseman is his power, and Marrero struggled to display his. He only knocked 97 homers over nearly 2,900 at bats.
When he finally got his break in the major leagues he continued to struggle. Over 133 plate appearances he hit just .232 with a .272 slugging percentage. Marrero failed to hit any home runs and struck out 31 times. He was a solid glove at first base, finishing with a .993 fielding percentage, but his offensive struggles were going to leave him stranded in the minor leagues.
With the Orioles, you can likely expect the same. With Chris “Crush” Davis currently manning first base, Marrero will continue to play in the minor leagues, likely at triple-A. With the Nationals, he was merely taking up space and was eventually removed from the 40-man roster in late October. While there was plenty of potential for him in 2006, he’s one player that the Nationals can do without in the future.