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2018 Arizona Diamondbacks Reviews: #43, Deven Marrero

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Swaggy D(isabled list).

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
  • 2018 rating: 2.94
  • 2017 rating: N/A
  • 2018 salary: $562,000
  • 2018 performance: 85 PA, .167/.224/.205, 14 OPS+, 15 wRC+, 3 SB, 6 BB, 23 SO, 7 RBI, -.5 bWAR, -.3 fWAR
  • 2019 status: In Diamondbacks system, off 40 man roster

Deven Marrero is a case of too much of what the Arizona Diamondbacks already had on the MLB roster. He came as advertised from the Boston Red Sox in a late March trade as an all glove, relatively no bat, utility infielder. In Boston he was nicknamed “Swaggy D”, and for good reason as his defense certainly backed up the moniker. The Red Sox drafted him in the first round in 2012 out of Arizona State University when Mike Hazen was still with Boston as assistant GM. The Diamondbacks roster was in a bit of limbo during the point in Spring Training when Marrero was acquired. Outfielder Steven Souza Jr. was on the disabled list with a pectoral strain which shifted Chris Owings into a platoon with Jarrod Dyson in right field. Daniel Descalso was available as a super utility player off the bench with Owings, and Marrero served essentially the same role having played every infield position in some capacity before arriving in Arizona.

Another early season injury to Jake Lamb opened up yet more playing time for Marrero at third base, and because of that he probably logged more innings at the position than he should have this season. His offense was, I’m unable to say this lightly, putrid albeit in a relatively small sample size. Marrero came agonizingly close to his first home run with the D’backs on April 14th against the Los Angeles Dodgers. In fact, the ball cleared the left field wall and would have been good for three runs, but Alex Avila lost track of the ball, retreated back to first because he did not know if the ball had been caught, and allowed Deven to pass him while rounding first. The result of this mind numbing mistake was Marrero being called out with only a single, while the other two runs were allowed to score.

“I definitely owe Deven, taking away a homer from him,” Avila said after Arizona’s 9-1 victory. “We’ll talk about what I need to do to make it up to him. It’s something we talk about on a daily basis, trying to be aggressive on tag ups on deep fly balls. It was just a brutal read on my part.”

What he lacked at the plate he certainly made up for in the field, again in a small sample, and can only be given justice in video as opposed to the written word.

This first highlight is fairly ludicrous of a play to be made by Marrero, and he makes it look easy. Wilmer Difo was the basrunner. Difo’s average sprint speed for the season per Baseball Savant was 28.6 ft/s which places him in the upper third of the league. Marrero threw a bullet across his body and the entire infield directly to Paul Goldschmidt to retire Difo by an entire full step. That should be enough to put a smile on Nick Ahmed’s face right? Lets ask Nick ourselves.

Ahmed is a defensive wizard in his own right, that we all know, and is accustomed having to cover a lot of ground on his own in the infield. With Marrero on the left side with him, it took a ton of pressure off of Nick as Deven is arguably just a notch below him with the glove. You can see Nick giving Deven the sauce after making the diving stop in this play because he thought it might have squeaked through, and Ahmed would have been there to backup the play.

It’s exactly the production he provided in Boston over the previous three seasons, all defense and little to no offense. For Arizona, it was too much of the same thing. Too many superior defenders and not enough bat to stick. Marrero, Ahmed (at times), Ketel Marte (occasionally), Jeff Mathis, Alex Avila, Jarrod Dyson, Chris Owings. Marrero went down with an oblique strain on June 29th and would not be seen back with the big league ballclub for the remainder of the season. Mike Hazen decided to change gears with Jake Lamb lost for the season with shoulder surgery and acquire Eduardo Escobar, who was much more capable with the bat, via trade.

On August 7th, Arizona reinstated Marrero from the disabled list and immediately designated him for assignment to clear up a spot on the 40 man roster. He ultimately went unclaimed and was thus reassigned to AAA Reno. The possibility remains that he could find himself back on the MLB roster out of necessity, but it is unlikely he will stick unless he finds a way to substantially improve at the plate.