Sleeper Prospect (2019): Why The Cubs’ Brailyn Marquez Needs To Be On Your Radar

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Often there are prospects that can fly under-the-radar, and one example could be the Cubs’ Brailyn Marquez.  The southpaw signed out of the Dominican Republic pitched 2018 as a 19-year old (he’ll pitch 2019 at 20-years old), and has the potential to fully breakout this year.  Let’s start to get to know him:

Rotoprofessor Pre-Season Ranking – Cubs’ #2 Prospect

Throws – Left-Handed

Age – 20

2018 Statistics:
Low-A – 47.2 IP, 3.21 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 9.82 K/9, 2.64 BB/9
Single-A – 7.0 IP, 2.57 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 9.00 K/9, 2.57 BB/9

Thoughts:
Last season he amassed 54.2 innings (47.2 at Low-A), showing upside in all three categories we look for in a pitching prospect:

  • Strikeouts – 9.71 K/9
  • Control – 2.63 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 49.3%

Further adding to the intrigue is the upside in both his strikeouts (16.1% SwStr%) and groundball rate (52.4% during his time at Low-A).  It’s all coming together, and Marquez should continue to improve.

Listed at 6’4” and 185 lbs., reports have his fastball already starting to gain velocity as he matures physically and he pairs it with some upside secondary pitches.  Here’s a breakdown of his stuff, courtesy of Baseball America:

  • Fastball – “The pitch sits in the mid-90s, touches 98 mph and shows riding life through the zone. He backs it up with a pair of offspeed pitches that need refinement but project as above-average or better.”
  • Slider – “His mid-80s slider snaps out of the zone at its best, but he needs to find more consistent spin.”
  • Changeup – “Marquez’s changeup, thrown around 86-91 mph, shows hard lateral movement like a two-seam fastball away from righthanded hitters.”

He still has a lot left to prove, including being able to work deep into games.  He averaged less than 5.0 innings per outing last season, and that may be the most important thing to monitor.  If he can’t he could morph more into a reliever, a role he’d likely thrive in.

For now that’s not an issue.  He’s going to continue to work as a starter and could begin to gain significant momentum in 2019, as this could be his breakout performance. While others aren’t paying attention, now is the time to strike. Don’t be surprised if he’s being discussed as one of the better left-handed starters in baseball by the end of the year.

Current Grade – B
Upside Grade – B+/A-

Sources – MILB.com, Fangraphs, Baseball America

Make sure to check out all of our 2019 Top 10 Prospect Lists:

AL EastAL CentralAL West
Baltimore OriolesChicago White SoxHouston Astros
Boston Red SoxCleveland IndiansLos Angeles Angels
New York YankeesDetroit TigersOakland A's
Tampa Bay RaysKansas City RoyalsSeattle Mariners
Toronto Blue JaysMinnesota TwinsTexas Rangers
NL EastNL CentralNL West
Atlanta BravesChicago CubsArizona Diamondbacks
Miami MarlinsCincinnati RedsColorado Rockies
New York MetsMilwaukee BrewersLos Angeles Dodgers
Philadelphia PhilliesPittsburgh PiratesSan Diego Padres
Washington NationalsSt. Louis CardinalsSan Francisco Giants

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