Exactly four years before Rodney King was beaten up in 1991, Marshall was born in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He became the second person from his high school to be drafted when the Mets took him in the 14th round of 2005 after a 5-2 senior season with 46 K’s in 37 innings. However, he chose to go to the University of Richmond where his brother Benji was a utility infielder.
Marshall quickly joined the rotation, starting 8 of 11 games as a freshman with a 7.43 ERA. 2007 brought more of the same. Despite a shutout in each of his first two seasons, Marshall was getting destroyed. In 2008, he appeared in just five games, two starts, before injury killed his junior season. Marshall and Richmond applied for and successfully were able to get a medical redshirt to give Marshall two more seasons.
He began to turn the corner a little in 2009 with 17 games, 5 starts, and a 6.12 ERA. However, his K rate was the best of his college career. He harnessed his wildness in 2010 with his best season as a five-year senior. He went 4-4 in 19 games, 9 starts, with a 4.04 ERA, a 1.96 BB.9 rate, and set college bests in innings and K’s.
Marshall entered the 2010 draft with a small chance of getting drafted, but in the 40th round and 1,214th pick overall, the Braves selected the right-hander. Tough to find much of a scouting report, but this blogger suggests that Marshall’s velocity was in the low 90’s, topping out at 94, with a curveball that was “inconsistent.” Soon after, Marshall joined the GCL Braves, but struggled in ten games, including seven starts. He gave up five homers in 39.1 ING, but walked just 8 batters and struck out 26.
He spent the final week-and-a-half with Danville, appearing in three games and two starts for the Braves and was pretty solid in a small sample size. In 13.1 innings, he gave up eight hits, four earned runs, walked four, and struck out 13.
With a shot to make a move in 2011, Marshall missed out as he needed Tommy John surgery, wiping out his entire first full minor league season. It is difficult for guys drafted late to make a run toward the majors without injuries taking away a year.
Marshall finally made his 2012 debut with the Rome Braves on May 11th. The 25 year-old has pitched in eleven games with Rome and 11 more with the Lynchburg Hillcats, where he currently is assigned. He has had more success with the former. With Rome, in 16.1 ING, Marshall had a 1.53 WHIP, but a 9.9 K/9 rate and a 4.32 FIP. Those numbers aren’t that eye-catching, but his numbers with the Hillcats have been awful. In 14.1 ING, he has given up four homers and nearly a 9.00 ERA. In his last outing two days ago against Salem, Marshall gave up three hits in 1.1 ING.
The chances that Marshall is in the Braves organization in 2013 are minimal. He needs to start producing at Lynchburg because at 25, he is already too old for the level. A solid run could get him to AA for 2013, but the results so far suggest that doesn’t seem likely. However, to give the guy a break, he is only 14-15 months from Tommy John surgery. His walk rate has been high. His BABIP is unbelievably high. So, if he can continue to build arm strength and run some scoreless outings together, maybe the former Spider will get a shot next year. As a Hillcat fan, I hope to see Lynchburg benefit from Marshall pitching much better in August and in the Carolina League playoffs.