Deven Marrero, like several Boston Red Sox prospects, doesn’t have a clear path to the majors. The 24-year-old also faces questions regarding his offensive potential.
But neither is of any concern to Marrero. The young infielder remains completely confident in his future.
“I know that I can hit,” Marrero recently told the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato at Red Sox spring training in Fort Myers. “I don’t care what other people think or other people say. I know my ability, I know I can play this game and I know I can do everything in this game. That’s for other people to judge me because I know what I can do.”
Marrero’s glove work already has drawn recognition, as the slick-fielding shortstop was named the Red Sox’s 2014 Minor League Defensive Player of the Year. He also has shown an ability to swipe a base — he has 67 steals over three minor league seasons — and his plate discipline suggests offensive improvement could be on the horizon.
Marrero batted .291 with five homers, 39 RBIs and a .371 on-base percentage in 68 games with Double-A Portland last season. The strong effort was offset, to some extent, by a .210 average and a .260 on-base percentage in 50 games at Triple-A Pawtucket.
But Marrero is out to show this season he’s ready for the next step. It starts with his work this spring.
“I put on good size. I’m stronger,” Marrero told Mastrodonato. “When you get bigger and it’s all muscle, it gets you faster. I feel good. I’m ready to put it all together.”
Marrero enters 2015 as the Red Sox’s No. 11 prospect, according to SoxProspects.com (He could be bumped down one more notch with Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada joining the mix). And there’s plenty to like about Marrero’s game, even if his offense remains a work in progress.
The biggest uncertainty, of course, is where Marrero will fit in if he ultimately silences his skeptics. The Red Sox currently have Xander Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia and Pablo Sandoval penciled in at shortstop, second base and third base, respectively.
That’s an issue for Boston to deal with if the time comes. For now, Marrero knows what he must do.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images