Brandon Marsh Adds Power To A Strong Foundation
The adjustment was so subtle that to even notice it, one would probably have to compare video of Brandon Marsh hitting at Double-A Mobile in April to the stance the outfielder used in the Arizona Fall League.
At some point in the 2019 season, minor league hitting coordinator Damon Mashore and Ryan Parker, the Angels' hitting analysis coordinator, suggested that the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Marsh stand a little more upright in the box in an effort to unlock more power.
The plan worked. Marsh hit .306/.370/.459 with six of his seven home runs in the second half of the Southern League season. He then compiled a .909 OPS in 19 AFL games.
"A lot of what Marshy has going on started to take root toward the end of the regular season” minor league field coordinator Chad Tracy said. "His understanding of pitchers, how they’re pitching him, how their stuff works, how he game-plans . . . That’s a huge part of it.
"It’s no secret—he’s standing up a little taller, and he’s done some things to free him up to get to certain pitches better. Everyone wants to see some power. Then he starts hitting some pull-side homers (in the AFL) and everyone gets excited, as they should, because he is a very good player.”
Marsh, who turns 22 in December, is one of the best athletes in the Angels’ system, a player with plus defensive instincts, speed and route-running ability and a strong, accurate arm. At the plate, he rarely goes out of the strike zone, and he is a career .287 hitter as a pro.
The development of his power stroke could determine whether Marsh, a 2016 second-round pick out of Buford (Ga.) High, merely reaches the big leagues or stars there.
Marsh hit .300/.383/.428 in 96 games at Mobile, ranking fourth in the SL batting race, third in on-base percentage and seventh in OPS. He appears to have taken another step forward in the AFL.
"There was nothing ground-breaking in his adjustments." Tracy said. "The foundation was already there with this kid . . . But from four months ago to now, his ability to cover the whole strike zone and use the entire field has drastically improved.
"You hope he’s found something he can grab a hold of, take it into next season and keep doing it.”