Prospect: Brandon Marsh
Level: Rookie Ball
Age: Entering Age 20 season in 2018.
Height: 6’4” – Weight: 210 lbs
Floor: Minor league depth.
Ceiling: All-star starting outfielder.
Likely Outcome: A good starting outfielder in the major leagues.
Summary: Brandon Marsh is one of the few cases where I just can’t figure out what the rest of the prospect world is missing. I mean here we have a kid that’ built like Josh Hamilton and is yet a teenager with huge power potential and enough speed to make him a five-tool threat. He also marks off the intangibles….a former standout wide receiver in high school, absolutely loves the game of baseball like Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun do, and he’s absolutely dedicated in the weight room. And if that weren’t enough, he hit .350 in his first taste of professional baseball.
So why isn’t this kid on every top 100 prospect list?
I can’t answer that, all I can guess is that scouts simply haven’t seen him play as much as others, and the general decade-old stigma that still comes with being drafted by the Angels.
Whatever the case, someday people are going to know about Brandon Marsh, and AngelsWin will have added another name to the list of prospects they knew about long before the rest of the publication even had a clue.
Drafted out of Buford High School inGeorgia in 2016, many of Marsh’s scouting videos were clearly self made. We didn’t see him show up at any of the usual suspects (Perfect Game, etc). He was probably too busy making a name for himself on the gridiron. Whatever the case, he didn’t garner much attention from professional or college scouts until his senior year, and the Angels definitely liked the upside he brought. He wasn’t a first round pick, and hadn’t been around long enough to make teams feel comfortable with him in the second round, but the Angels saw the chase to get a first round talent in the second round of the draft and took it (very similar to Jahmai Jones who was drafted a year earlier).
There was a bit of a hold up in Marsh signing a professional contract with the Angels however, because of a tree fracture suffered in his back. While he was looking for an over-slot bonus, the Angels needed to be more confident in him healing before signing him for that much money. Eventually they agreed to a slot bonus, but with the caveat that Marsh wouldn’t play any baseball until the injury was healed. So we didn’t get a chance to see Marsh except for a couple snippets during instructional ball, where he really impressed the staff.
That’s when us fans began to realize the Angels may have really found something here in Brandon Marsh.
Marsh’s power likely won’t show up much in the minors, mostly because it’s the last tool to develop and he’ll hit in a series of pitcher friendly parks before reaching AAA Salt Lake, so Marsh may be able to remain under the radar for a while. But that shouldn’t bother fans. He has the type of strength and loft in his swing that he should be a consistent 30 HR threat in the major leagues. Marsh’s bat in the general sense is what we’d consider “very good.” He can barrel pitches in the zone and is never cheated, despite having a controlled swing. Brandon also has the type of speed that could result in as many as 40 SB a year, but will likely hover around 20 on an annual basis.
But, if there is one weakness in his game, it’s his plate discipline. In Marsh’s first taste of rookie ball, he didn’t see many pitches he didn’t like. So Brandon is susceptible to a good lefty breaking ball or a slider in the dirt. That will need to change before AA, otherwise Marsh may stall in his development. Still, givens work ethic and ability, it may only be a matter of time before Marsh’s plate discipline is satisfactory.
What to expect: First and foremost, Marsh needs to stay healthy, which he’ll look to do this next year at Burlington, his first foray into full season ball. I’ll be closely paying attention to Marsh’s ability to cut down his strikeouts and take a walk. We already know he can hit, but advanced pitchers might find holes in his approach that others haven’t yet. So I’ll definitely be paying attention to that. And just for fun, I’ll be peeking at the HR and SB totals, just because having a talent like Marsh is fun for that.
Estimated Time of Arrival: 2021, Brandon’s age 23 season.
Grade as a prospect: B+/A-
Grades Explained: Grade A player is a future superstar. Grade B player is a future regular. Grade C is a fringe major leaguer.