As a tall, athletic, righthanded-hitting outfielder, Marisnick has been compared favorably to former first-rounder Rocco Baldelli (Note: emphasis mine. Emphatically.).Okay, you've got my attention. The last toolsy guy to rise in the Jays system was Alex Rios. I think I already forget how much fun/frustrating Rios could be. Alright, let's escalate the Prospect Porn shoot from missionary to reverse cowgirl, with a helping fluff from the exceedingly appropriately named Base Balls to the Wall:
Marisnick is a legit five-tool athlete with good power potential and a strong understanding of baseball, though I have read that his swing may need to be overhauled. He’s drawing Rocco Baldelli comps which is concerning considering Baldelli’s unwillingness to walk, but the upside is certainly there.Hmmm, Rocco's patience is a bit of the concern. While there aren't any pro at bats to go on, early word was Marisnick's swing needed a full "rebuild". A progress which is, apparently, already under way.
From John "The Hammer" Sickels recent listicle ranking the Jays system, a comment surfaced from Doug Dirt of Red Minor Leagues.com on prospects discovering patience as they move through the system. In a word, it doesn't happen.
I looked at every batter from 1993-2008 with at least 1500 MLB at bats and a K/BB of 3.50 or worse in the major leagues. There were only 20 players who fit that bill. Only two of them were able to improve their K/BB from the minor leagues to the major...Rocco Baldelli went from 4.01 in the minors to 3.84 in the majors. The other 18 went in the opposite direction from the minors to the majors. Side note – Only 1 of those 20 players has a career OPS over .770 and it's Alfonso Soriano.Now this comment was in regards to Aaron Ciba and his inability to control the zone in the minors. We can only hope and pray Jake Marisnick has better strike zone awareness than young Rocco; mostly to compensate for his lack of overt ethnicity. Here's hoping Jake rises through the system as fast as I rose upon first discovering this comparison.
Image courtesy of Max Preps