Jose Marmolejos 1B/LF Harrisburg Senators
Hit (55) Power (40) Arm (35) Defense (35 LF / 50 1B) Run (35)
Jose Marmolejos was signed by Washington for $55,000 as an international free agent from the Dominican Republic in June 2011. The 24-year-old Marmolejos is listed at a stocky 6-1 185lbs, with thick legs and little physical projection remaining. An ordinary athlete, he has below-average speed, routinely posting 4.32-4.35 seconds home to first.
Marmolejos has a short, compact and repeatable left-handed swing, along with a consistent approach at the plate and a feel for the strike zone. Further, he shows a feel for the barrel and a natural ability to hit. His underwhelming physicality and linear swing hinder his ability to produce home run power, but he consistently hits line drives and uses the entire field. Like most hitters, he can be susceptible to off-speed pitches away and in the dirt, but Marmolejos impressively seeks fastballs and works the count in his favor. I like the bat but I worry if he will produce consistently against upper-level breaking pitches and premium velocity. That said Marmolejos projects as a “55” hitter with “40” power at the major league level.
Defensively Marmolejos has split time between first base and left field this season – in the outfield his below-average speed and mediocre left-handed throwing arm are exposed. Despite his lack of experience, Marmolejos seems to track fly balls reasonably well and consistently hustles in an attempt to overcome his deficiencies. Nevertheless, his weaknesses are unlikely to improve with age, so he projects as a passable but below-average defensive left fielder. At first base, these weaknesses are shielded and his soft hands allow him to receive errant throws well. Again his athleticism and size hurts him at first, but he projects as an average defender at the cold corner.
Marmolejos is an interesting prospect because of his innate ability to put the barrel on the baseball and make hard contact. His linear swing produces more line drives than home runs, but in this era of non-contact and strikeouts, his hitting ability cannot be ignored. Unfortunately his other tools project as below-average, which makes it difficult to profile him as a major league first baseman or left fielder. He should hit his way to the majors, but his other tools will limit his time there. Marmolejos has the ceiling of a major league backup at first base and left field, with the likely outcome being a Quad-A player who occasionally sees major league time.