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Let's face the truth: not every hot prospect makes it to the big leagues. There is really no such thing as a "can't miss" guy; every player is susceptible to some degree of injuries as well as potential ineffectiveness. I'm going to look at some Nats prospects who have fallen off a bit over the last year or two and analyze whether they will bounce back or not. Today I'll look at 2006 1st rounder Chris Marrero.
Marrero's 2009 was actually encouraging in the fact that he stayed healthy and got a good number of at bats. He hit very well in Potomac, which was a good sign considering he missed the end of the 2008 season with a broken fibula. His contact rate slipped a little bit in his short stint in Harrisburg, but his power fell off significantly.
While there was a clear and drastic drop in power in Harrisburg, I am not particularly worried for two reasons. First, the jump from A ball to AA is seen by some as the most difficult to do in the game; there is obviously some sort of adjustment period needed to be able to judge his stats for real. Second, the sample size is very small (84 plate appearances in 23 games). Marrero's rate stats stayed constant during the jump from A to AA, so I'm confident he will rebound in 2010.
2010 Fearless Prediction: .265/.340/.460
I expect his batting average to drop a little bit in the full-season jump to AA, but I think the BB rate and isolated power will remain semi-constant with his career averages.
Major League ETA: September 2011
Recent scouting notes:
"The initial pronouncements of a future middle of the order power bat have faded but he still has the chance to develop into a solid regular. His glove is going to be his biggest hurdle to reaching that status."-Nationals Farm Authority, 12/24/09
"The picture of Marrero has come into sharper focus. While last year, BA may have seen him as being more of an impact bat, the 2009 season began to paint a picture of a ceiling as a solid major league regular."-NFA, 12/3/09
"Marrero’s entire 2009 season combined showed a lot of progress. During the regular season he showed the kind of power he brings to the table. Then in the winter league he proved that he has the ability to hit for average as well, but sacrificed some home runs. Lets hope that in 2010 he can balance both sides out and hit for a high average with plenty of dingers into the outfield stands."-NationalsProspects.com
"I don't think he's going to be a star, but with proper development he can be a solid regular."-MinorLeagueBall.com, 11/18/09