Whit Merrifield became an MLB All-Star for the KC Royals even though he was never a minor league breakout star. Can a player like Jose Marquez do the same?
Jose Marquez is not a top prospect in the KC Royals’ farm system. He is currently ranked number sixty by the Royals Farm Report, whose rankings every KC Royals fan should read. If the 2020 season ever takes place, Jose will probably begin it as a 22-year-old in Single-A ball.
But what Jose has been is productive. He has shown he possesses the ability to make defensive plays all over the infield and he has shown he can consistently make good contact.
There are some similarities between Whit Merrifield and Jose. And there are other areas where Marquez may need to look to how Whit increased his value and attempt to emulate him — especially if he intends to ever become an everyday player in the big leagues.
Marquez is a very good athlete in search of a true position. He is physically talented enough to play either second or third base, while playing shortstop with any regularity may be a bit of a stretch. His best bet is probably to become more of a utility player and add some outfield defense to his repertoire.
Much like Whit, Marquez’s future will ultimately be determined by how well his bat plays as he moves through the minor league levels. To this point, his offensive performance has been very promising.
Over the last two seasons, Jose has worked his way through Rookie ball and into A-ball. And he has done it while hitting over .300 and maintaining an OBP over .350. And even though he has yet to translate his natural strength into many home runs, he has hit enough doubles and triples to keep his SLG at .400 or better. His line drive percentage is currently 25 percent. He sees the ball well and he makes hard contact.
Jose Marquez is not going to become an under-the-radar player that suddenly blows up one season and begins to appear on everyone’s top ten prospects list. But he is a player that can continue to work his way through the system one level at a time. And if he can continue to hit and get on base, he is good enough to eventually earn his shot. If Jose needs some inspiration for the hard work ahead, he needs to look no further than the current All-Star playing all over the field for the KC Royals.