Based on my affinity for one Andrew Benintendi, I’m starting to think players “with the good hair” might be my thing. Why do you ask? Oh, because this whole “Benny with the flow” thing is not an isolated incident. Oh no, we have Dansby Swanson, who ranked highly on my pre-season list, I wrote a pitching profile of Mike Clevinger on Monday, another brother of the flow, and now, I introduce to you one of my favorite low minors prospects Brandon Marsh of the LA Angels. (Is that their name still?) The 2016 Angels second round pick was a Georgia prep standout who hit .559 his senior season, leading Buford, his suburban Atlanta high school, to the state championship series. After signing late in the post draft period last year, Marsh was assigned to the Angels Rookie level Arizona League affiliate, where he didn’t play a game due to a back injury. Throughout the following fall, and into the spring, “under the radar” reports on Marsh’s workouts were hitting the web, and all of them were glowing. Many praising his all around tools, and potential star ceiling; it caught my attention. Scouts, cited his plus raw power, athleticism, and the long term ability to stick in centerfield. This obviously drew some over the top hyperbolic comps to Mike Trout, but when you only have 6 prospects, and one good player, they all feel like family. Then again, he did injury his thumb sliding into a base last week, a la Mike Trout. Perhaps they are related? So, what is it about “Marshie with the Good Hair” that makes me want to go all Philandering Jay-Z/Blac Chyna with Robbie’s Amex? Well, my tulip of knowledge seeking, shutup, and I’ll tell you.
Power and speed, it’s this athletic profile that makes go gaga. Don’t believe me? Check my Top 100, I ranked lots of power/speed bats well above the industry consensus, and went full on Crazy Eddie insane with my Marsh rank at 62! You know why? Because good power and speed guys are exciting, they contribute in the two most desirable roto categories, and above all they help you win leagues. If you want 1,000 words on guys with empty batting averages, and solid hit tools, holler at Keith Law. You can pay $6 a month, masturbate to his prose, and finish in 5th every year in your dynasty league. (lower case yay) Fortune favors the bold, and the bold like Brandon Marsh. Why do the bold like Brandon Marsh? Imma let the numbers do the talking, through Marsh’s first 7 professional games he’s slashing .500/.546/.800 with a homer and 4 steals. Of course he hasn’t played in a game in a week since the thumb injury, but that’s because god doesn’t want us to have nice things. Injury aside, keep in mind, Marsh jumped the Angels lower rookie level in the Arizona League, and has been doing this in the more advanced short season Pioneer League. Marsh’s quick lefthanded swing, and general all around ability have drawn comps to Colby Rasmus, but for his sake, and for the sake of his facial hair, I hope that’s not the case. I do understand the Rasmus comps, as they have a similar batting stance. Both stand upright, with their hands loaded higher, both also employ pronounced leg kicks. So upon observation it’s easy to see the comp, though Marsh is a bit more compact in his pre-swing motion.
As you can see above he’s got a quick swing, if you’re not into the slow motion breakdown, check out this Instagram video from February of Marsh hitting down in the Angels Spring Complex in Tempe, AZ. As you can see, 60 grade bat speed, 80 grade flow. Coming into last season Marsh was considered a bit of pop-up prospect, having not been active on the showcase circuit, so he was an unknown to many scouts. That was until an impressive showing at Perfect Game’s High School Showdown where Marsh showed gap to gap power, plus speed, and that quick lefty swing. Following that performance the loud tools definitely caught the attention of scouts. Even beyond the power and speed, Marsh has a cannon for an arm from the outfield, and an advanced plate approach for a teenage prep player. So essentially they saw then, what we’re beginning to see now, an exciting talent with all-world upside. Guys like that should be owned in all formats.
In closing I’m not saying Marsh is can’t miss, not even close. In fact it’s quite the opposite, I’m going out on a limb here based on good scouting reports, batting cage videos, and 7 professional games. But when I watch Marsh, I see a potential 5 category stud, that can be had for pennies on the dollar. Remember prospectors, no one built a dynasty playing it safe.
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