Jakob Marsee could factor into Padres’ outfield for 2024

Credit: Arizona Fall League

Credit: Arizona Fall League

Drafted in the sixth round of last year’s 2022 MLB Draft, San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller seemingly found a diamond in the rough with outfielder Jakob Marsee.

The Central Michigan Chippewa already made an appearance in Double-A San Antonio and thrived in the desert as the Arizona Fall League MVP.

MLB Pipeline ranks Marsee as the Padres’ 12th-ranked prospect, but his performance this fall might suggest that he should be higher.

Playing against other top prospects from all other MLB organizations, Marsee slashed .391/.509/.707 with five home runs and 16 stolen bases in only 24 games in the Arizona Fall League. Those monstrous numbers put his impressive 2023 MiLB statistics to shame, which speaks enough for itself.

After impressing in 113 games with the Fort Wayne TinCaps, launching 13 home runs, and stealing 41 bases, Preller promoted Marsee from High-A to the San Antonio Missions in the Texas League. Across the two levels, Marsee got on base at a .413 clip and brought home 46 runs.

Marsee is primarily a centerfielder, which could play big for the Padres in 2024.

Up the middle, Trent Grisham struggled to hit the ball for San Diego again in 2023. His 87 OPS+ often hurt the major league club in 153 games. He is on thin ice heading into 2024 but was tendered and should open the season as the club’s centerfielder, barring a trade. It could be up to Marsee to push Grisham towards the numbers Grisham put up in his first year with the Friars.

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There are indeed some Padres fans who think Marsee is the Padres’ centerfielder of the future. And why not? His play in 2023 should have fans optimistic. Replacing Grisham, who is set to make around $5 million in 2024 in his second of three eligible years of arbitration, is certainly a realistic possibility.

According to several MLB insiders, Juan Soto remains in trade talks, so Marsee may even be needed in a corner outfield role with the Padres at some point in 2024, depending on how things shake out. It will be a long shot for the man drafted 18th overall in 2022. He has only played 16 games at the Double-A level, but Preller has shown aggressiveness in the past with prospects. He may push Marsee if the outfielder can carry his fall numbers into spring when the Padres get to Peoria in February.

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