When evaluating potential major league-caliber prospects, it goes way beyond velocity and arm angles.
Spin rate and strikeout ratios give you numbers, but they do not speak of the heart of a pitcher and what is needed on game day. You gotta look in a player’s eyes. You need to get to know who they are. When the going gets tough, you must see what kind of character they display.
If you are looking for a pitcher in the Padres’ minor league system with the moxey and guile of Joey Lucchesi and Eric Lauer, then look no further than Nick Margevicius. The lefty works fast and throws strikes. He is a joy to work behind defensively, as you are always in the game. He is also a pleasure to talk to, as I got to know Nick this spring in Peoria.
Margevicius will not blow you away with big-time velocity. He just attacks hitters without fear and constantly works ahead in the count. When he is ahead, even though he is not a flamethrower, he still gets the strikeouts because Margevicius simply out-thinks the hitter and picks at their weaknesses. He is a pitcher in every sense of the word.
Currently in Fort Wayne, Nick Margevicius is 1-2 in six starts with a 2.81 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. In 32 innings pitched, Margevicius has struck out 44 and walked only seven batters. Five of those seven walks came in one start vs Great Lakes, which I saw on MiLB TV. He was being squeezed big time in that game by the home plate umpire, so his walk rate should be even more impressive.
The 2017 7th-round pick out of Rider University is 21 and has a very bright future.
Nick is a hard worker and is always looking for the extra angle to gain an advantage over his opponent. His conditioning is something he picked up in college. He is a routine-oriented person and enjoys pushing himself in the weight room and out on the field. Being a competitor is necessary to gain that edge over your opponent. Nick Margevicius will strive to get better. He will push himself, and because of that, he is an excellent leader. Younger players pick up on his tremendous work ethic and, in a growing system, that is vital.
The future is bright for Nick Margevicius, but it will be tough to earn a promotion any time soon to the High Single-A level. The Lake Elsinore Storm have Michel Baez, Adrian Morejon, Chris Paddack, Reggie Lawson, and Pedro Avila in the rotation currently. David Bednar is also there. There might be more promotions coming soon, so anything can happen. Paddack has been pitching well, and so has Lawson and Morejon. We will just have to wait and see.
In time, you will get to know Nick Margevicius. He will not blow you away with his stuff, but he will endear himself to you as he works hard and plays the game the right way. The Padres’ system is full of talented young players that are better men than they are players. Kudos to the Padres for drafting players with intangibles that can only be recognized by advanced scouting. They are doing their work, and the payoff will be huge, eventually, especially in players like Nick Margevicius, whose guile on the mound will serve him well.