LA Angels top Brandon Marsh learned a lot in Single-A

General Manager Billy Eppler, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)
General Manager Billy Eppler, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images) /

When the LA Angels drafted Brandon Marsh in the second round of the 2016 Amateur Draft out of Buford, Georgia he was considered to be a five-tool talent that would rise quickly through the Angels system.

LA Angels prospect Brandon Marsh started strong in his first season of professional 2017.  Marsh hit .350 with four homers and 44 RBIs as well as 10 stolen bases for the Orem Owlz in the Rookie League.

Marsh started 2018 season well hitting .295 with three homers and 24 RBIs in 34 games at Low Single-A Burlington which prompted the Angels to promoted Marsh to High Single-A Inland Empire in early May.  Marsh struggled mightily when he first started with the 66’ers hitting below 200 for the first month he was there.

Slowly but surely Marsh started to raise his average and his production increased as well. Marsh showed tremendous speed, with some power as well.  Defensively Marsh had a very accurate and strong arm.  What helped Marsh break out of his early funk was becoming more selective at the plate. Marsh drew 52 walks which helped his on-base-percentage finish at .346 for the season.

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Marsh ended the season with seven homers and 46 RBIs with a .256 batting average. Marsh had hoped to get promoted to Double-A with his friend and fellow outfield prospect Jo Adell.  Adell was promoted in mid-July to Double-A Mobile, but Marsh was not deemed ready to go up to the next level.

However, Marsh did not sulk, he just continued to work even harder to improve his skills for the future.

“It has been a long, rough season, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I don’t want it to be a cake walk because you don’t learn anything from that,” said Marsh in a late August interview.

“Everyone wants to move up to a higher level, but you have to prove yourself first. Eventually I will get there. I’m excited about the future for all of us here.”

Marsh said he learned a lot from the coaching staff at Inland Empire especially manager Ryan Barba. Barba weighed in on Marsh’s progress in 2018.

“Brandon is always improving. He has a good aptitude for the game and he takes in what he is learning and applies it to his game,” said Barba of Marsh. “He is going to make some mistakes. He is going to take his bumps and bruises, but this is a special kid with a lot of talent. The way he moves in the outfield, the way he controls the batter’s box are very good.  Brandon will make some adjustments and go through the process will eventually be a very good major league player.”

Despite Marsh’s up and down season the talent is evident and what many people don’t realize Marsh is only 20 years and two years removed from playing high school baseball.  Some players such as Mike Trout might have a quicker learning curve than most, but Marsh is still on a good track and will get the opportunity to prove himself in Double-A next season.

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If you look at guys like Taylor Ward and David Fletcher when everything clicks the opportunity for rapid advancement can happen.  Ward was in Single-A toward the end of last season and now he is in the majors. Fletcher started this season in Double-A and now has also made it to the majors halfway through this season.

Will Marsh be the next player to start the season at Double-A and be in the majors before season’s end we will have to wait and see how he progresses. Marsh is willing to do whatever it takes in order to reach the big leagues.

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“Getting to the majors is in the back of all of our minds, but we just have to keep our heads down and keep grinding working hard every day,” Marsh said. “I’m not trying to look at the big picture because that’s when everything feels hard and falls all on your shoulders.  We just have to take it day-by-day and keep improving.”