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Marrero lands with Orioles on minor-league deal

Dec 16, 2013, 3:21 PM EDT

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Chris Marrero, released by the Nationals earlier this fall, has found a new home just up the road: Baltimore.

The Orioles have signed the 25-year-old first baseman to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training, according to Baseball America.

Marrero, the Nationals’ highly touted first-round pick in the 2006 draft, was outrighted off the club’s 40-man roster on October 24 after a disappointing eight seasons with the organization during which time he hit just .232 in 39 big-league games. He continued to be a productive offensive player at Class AAA, hitting a collective .281 with a .353 on-base percentage over parts of three seasons at Syracuse, though his power numbers (25 homers) remained a disappointment.

Whether Marrero can finally realize his potential in Baltimore remains to be seen. The Orioles obviously are set at first base with Chris Davis, who mashed a club-record 53 homers this year, but their designated hitters were woefully unproductive, hitting a collective .234 with a .289 on-base percentage.

Marrero will need to prove he can hit big-league pitching for average, but he’ll also need to prove he can hit for power the way he was expected when the Nationals touted him as the organization’s top prospect.

  1. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 16, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    good luck Chris.

  2. Section 222 - Dec 16, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Hard to believe he was once our top prospect. Kind of sad really. That injury (was it a hamstring?) really set him back.

  3. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 16, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    Shortly after he was drafted — that summer? maybe the next summer? — Chris Marrero was playing in Potomac in July or August and I took my 8 or so year-old daughter and a friend of hers to see him play in a day game. Big mistake for two reasons: First, it was about 170 degrees (okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, but only slight) in the stands and the two girls and I essentially melted — as did the snow cones we purchased to try to keep cool, making a real mess and leaving us and the car sticky for weeks. Second, and more directly related to baseball, the Nats were trying to turn Mr. Marrero into an outfielder and he was playing LF or CF (could that be?). It was not a pretty sight. In fact, it was downright ugly. I think they only gave him one or two Es that day, but he could have been ‘credited’ with one or two more. Maybe not as bad as Paul Lo Duca playing LF — which my daughter and I also had the misfortune of seeing (at MLB prices) — but it was clear Mr. Marrero’s future was not in the OF. Good luck with the O’s.

  4. letswin3 - Dec 16, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Speaking of Baltimore, I just read that Earl Weaver was tossed from like 91 games, including both halves of 3 double-headers. Now there’s a guy who had your back. I remember him taking a base with him as he was dismissed from one game.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Dec 16, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      And don’t forget that he was once tossed from a game before the game even started.

      • Doc - Dec 16, 2013 at 8:51 PM

        Earl “The Pearl” was my kind of manager!

        I like the record of 91 tosses!

  5. jd - Dec 16, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Chris Marrero problem is that he doesn’t do anything particularly well. He doesn’t hit for average, for power and he doesn’t run fast or play great defense. On the other hand he is quite clearly good enough to play AAA ball at a good level. I don’t know what they pay you to do that but whatever it is it beats going to a real job.

    Good luck Chris,

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 16, 2013 at 5:37 PM

      2006 was a different time in baseball especially if you were drafted out of High School as opposed to a D1 school. Many players taken in the early 2000’s that were phenoms became normal once they were subjected to PED testing. I’m not saying Marrero was a user but the stories of his High School power and skill level never materialized and you have to wonder why.

      People are still paying him to play the game and I see no power. What happened to it?

  6. johnboccabellafanclubmember1 - Dec 16, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    I wish Mr. Marrero well. Perhaps he will turn it around. Yet another example, if one is needed, of how difficult this game can be. For a time when the future seemed boundless, see the following: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/21/AR2007062102185.html .

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 16, 2013 at 5:44 PM

      Read my notes above. Was Barry Svrluga and Bowden and others that wrong with their research? Read the Jack Cust story in Sports Illustrated when he was a teenager. Similar story and a similar ending except Cust tested positive.

    • ArVAFan - Dec 16, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      I saw him playing first base in 2013 Spring Training. I’m not NatsJack or even close, but my first reaction was “he’ll play first base. But not for the Nationals.”

  7. David Proctor - Dec 16, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Kilgore:

    >> By this time next year, Lucas Giolito, the Nationals’ first pick in 2012, could very well be a top 5 prospect in all of baseball. Inside and outside the Nationals, people say the only thing keeping him from that kind of perception within the industry right now is game experience. If he shows the same kind of stuff he showed in limited action this year over a full season at, say, Hagerstown and Potomac, Giolito will be a prospect darling. He won’t have the same hype as Stephen Strasburg, but people in the game will view his talent as a prospect similarly. Giolito has already undergone Tommy John surgery, but he won’t turn 20 until July and he has a triple-digits fastball and a power slider that scouts say would be elite in the majors right now. “A monster,” one executive said; “a beast,” one scout said.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 16, 2013 at 7:26 PM

      I love all the unnamed sources with their quotes. I hope they are right and also hope that JZim and Desi get extended.

      • David Proctor - Dec 16, 2013 at 7:41 PM

        In fairness, plenty of named scouts have said the same. Baseball America LOVES him.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 16, 2013 at 8:24 PM

        David, of course and that’s why Kilgore can find names to put on the record. Why only quote unnamed sources for scouts when plenty will say “sure, quote me” .

      • Eugene in Oregon - Dec 16, 2013 at 9:09 PM

        Isn’t part of the problem that a scout for another team isn’t allowed to comment on-the-record about another team’s player? One of the MLB general managers just got dinged by MLB for making a reference to Mike Trout, for example.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 17, 2013 at 7:17 AM

        There are things you can say on the record and things you can’t.

  8. Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 16, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Orioles just sent out 2014 STH renewals. A 7.5% price increase! Sure, their prices are less than the Nats but why a big price increase? Maybe to pay for Chris Marrero. ;)

    • Doc - Dec 16, 2013 at 8:55 PM

      Hard to imagine why a scout wouldn’ t give his name to a positive quote??? Unless of course if there was no real scout to quote! LOL

  9. scnatsfan - Dec 16, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Anyone know anything about Bello, a Cuban catcher soon to become a free agent?

  10. Drew - Dec 16, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Bob Costas told the best Earl Weaver story.

    Backup outfielder Pat Kelly, later to become a minister, was sitting on the bench while Weaver was cussing a blue streak.

    Kelly stands and says: “Skip, you should walk with the Lord.”

    Weaver glares at Kelly and says: “You should walk with the bases loaded.”

    • Sonny G 10 - Dec 16, 2013 at 8:16 PM

      +1 :)

    • Doc - Dec 16, 2013 at 8:58 PM

      Legend has it that Earl once filled his mouth with ‘baccy so he could spray it all over the ump he was about to argue with!

  11. sunshinebobby - Dec 17, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    Section 222 – Dec 16, 2013 at 3:38 PM says:

    “Hard to believe he was once our top prospect. Kind of sad really. That injury (was it a hamstring?) really set him back.”

    No, 222. It was a distinct lack of talent.

    No power. No speed. No glove. Oh, and one more thing: he didn’t hit for much average either.

    Good luck up the road.

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