A major league call-up is so close Deven Marrero can taste it.
Marrero spent the 2014 season split between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket. The 24-year-old shortstop was named the Red Sox’s Minor League Defensive Player of the Year, adding some validity to the idea he could find his way to Boston at some point in 2015.
“I’m one step away. That’s all I know,” Marrero told MLB.com’s Spencer Fordin last week. “I play every day with a chip on my shoulder to get there and live out my dream. When that day comes, I’m sure I’ll be ready.”
While Marrero is known for his defensive prowess, the former first-round pick made offensive strides with Portland this season, hitting .291 with five homers, 39 RBIs and a .371 on-base percentage in 68 games. Marrero struggled offensively upon earning a promotion to Pawtucket, but it was a relatively positive campaign all things considered.
“It was a good season. We had a great team and we won the championship,” Marrero told Fordin of his time with Pawtucket. “It was a lot of fun. I had my ups and downs, but I learned a lot. And that’s what it’s all about; that process of learning and working hard and going back there next year and hopefully taking care of business.”
Marrero finished 2014 hitting .258 with six homers, 59 RBIs and a .327 on-base percentage in 118 games split between the two levels. He’s now suiting up for the Surprise Saguaros of the Arizona Fall League while preparing for a very important year as it pertains to his development.
“I’m playing baseball, so I can’t complain,” Marrero said of his AFL stint. “It’s a lot of fun coming back here to a place I’m familiar with. It’s been a great time so far. We’re just having fun. It’s a great group of guys.”
Marrero’s path to the majors currently is blocked by Boston’s middle infield tandem of Xander Bogaerts and Dustin Pedroia. He’ll also need to show more in 2015 before the Red Sox consider calling him up to the parent club.
Opportunity could knock soon enough, though. And Marrero is prepared to accept the challenge.
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