The San Diego Padres need outfield help in 2024, and rookie Jakob Marsee could be the answer.
The team will undoubtedly sign some veterans in the coming weeks, but the list of meritorious players is dwindling each week. The Padres are simply running out of time to find a worthy free agent on the open market. It may take a trade to solidify this unit.
Trading prospects for a rental at the position does not seem like the answer, either. The Padres seem committed to keeping their prospects—especially the highly-touted ones.
Internally, the Padres have an interesting option in prospect Jakob Marsee.
The 22-year-old, left-handed hitting outfielder will be in major league camp this spring and is regarded as a plus defender in center with a burgeoning bat.
Marsee batted .274/.413/.428 with a .840 OPS between Fort Wayne (High Single-A) and San Antonio (Double-A) last season. He slugged 16 homers and stole 46 bases in 129 games. These are not overly impressive numbers, but they are respectable for a player in his first full season of professional baseball. Marsee was selected in the sixth round of the 2022 MLB Draft out of Central Michigan University.
While in the Midwest League, Marsee posted a 142 wRC+, 17.4 BB%, .397 wOBA, .313 BABIP, and a .838 OPS. The left-handed swinger recorded a 46.5% FB Rate, a Z-Contact of 84 %, an O-Contact of 86.6%, and a SwSrt% of just 6%. His analytical numbers give you hope that Marsee can ultimately be a valuable Major League player.
His breakout came in the Arizona Fall League after the 2023 season was over. Marsee recorded a dominant 1.215 OPS and blasted five homers in 24 games, producing a .707 slugging percentage and showing a power potential that had not been witnessed yet. Marsee hit .391 in the AFL, stole 16 bases, and was awarded the league MVP for the Javelinas. Immediately, his name came on the radar for the 2024 season.
Can Marsee handle life as a major leaguer with only 160 minor league games under his belt and 700 plate appearances (only 69 of those plate appearances came over the Single-A level)?
It would be a tall ask, but the native of Dearborn, Michigan, provides a lot of positives to his game.
The speedy outfielder has has already had had 61 steals in 160 minor league games throughout his career. He gets great jumps on the basepaths and utilizes excellent instincts. Those same intangibles make him a plus defender, though he does not have the best arm. Marsee gets great reads on the baseball and takes correct routes while defending the ball in the gaps.
Marsee’s speed and defensive abilities should not be lost at the major league level, but can he hit enough to provide value to a Padres team that has playoff ambitions? All that may be answered in the spring, as Marsee will likely see a lot of time at the plate against some of the veteran pitchers in the league.
Jakob Marsee has earned more career walks (128) than strikeouts (122) in his 700 plate appearances in the minors, so there is hope that he can handle the bat sufficiently at the highest level of professional baseball. He will be given plenty of opportunities to show his worth. The Padres need him to be a solid defender with an average bat. Think Trent Grisham with a little more consistency and at a fraction of the price tag.
In Peoria, it appears Jakob Marsee will see plenty of playing time. Will he handle it? Only time will tell, but the 2024 season is just around the corner.
James was born and raised in America’s Finest City. He is a passionate baseball fan with even more passion towards his hometown Padres. Editor-In-Chief of EastVillageTimes.com. Always striving to bring you the highest quality in San Diego Sports News. Original content, with original ideas, that’s our motto. Enjoy.