Marsh on mend, nearing return to outfield

March 13th, 2021

was named the Angels’ No. 1 prospect by MLB Pipeline this spring, but he’s yet to see action in the outfield in Cactus League play as he’s still dealing with a shoulder labrum injury from last season.

The good news is that Marsh is expected to be back in the outfield in roughly a week, and he is excited for the chance to return to normal action. Marsh, ranked as the No. 53 overall prospect by MLB Pipeline, has been hampered by minor arm issues in each of the last two springs, but he believes he’ll be fully healthy heading into the season -- the 23-year-old is expected to start at the club’s alternate training site.

“It’s very frustrating, but there’s not much I can do,” Marsh said of his recent arm troubles. “You just have to roll with it and make the most out of it. I’m not going to sit here and be negative about it. I’m going to be positive and look forward to returning.”

While the shoulder issue has slowed Marsh down a bit this spring, not much else has in his strong Minor League career. After some swing changes to unlock more power before the 2019 season, Marsh broke out at Double-A Mobile, batting .300/.383/.428 with seven homers, 21 doubles and 43 RBIs in 96 games. He was expected to play at Triple-A Salt Lake last year, but was relegated to the alternate site because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marsh, though, continued to impress the coaching staff last season and manager Joe Maddon believes Marsh could make his Major League debut at some point this season. Maddon, however, noted that Marsh still has some work to do and that the club already has a crowded outfield that’s not expected to even include fellow former top prospect Jo Adell, who is also expected to start the year at the alternate site.

“There will be nothing holding him back,” Maddon said. “Of course, it'll be based on how the season is going for the team and he's going to have to be playing well. There's no scholarship or entitlement program. Everybody has to earn the right to be here."

Marsh was pleased to hear that Maddon believes he’s close to the big leagues, but he isn’t ready to take anything for granted. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder will continue to work at all three outfield spots defensively and said he’s been working to refine his mechanics at the plate.

"I try to keep it off my mind, because when you hear stuff like that, you tell yourself to get complacent," Marsh said. "And I do not want that at all. I'm a long ways from where I want to be and where I need to be for this club. It's going to be a grind and a fun process, but I'm looking forward to it. It's good hearing things like that, it does keep you going, but you kind of let it go in one ear and out the other one, just so you can keep your head down and keep pushing."

Marsh said he doesn’t set goals as a result, as he simply wants to stay on the field in 2021 and prove to the Angels that he can be a healthy contributor going forward.

“I just want to stay healthy and make it through the year,” Marsh said. “There are no statistical goals or anything like that. I try not to have any expectations with that. I just control what I can control. Just stay on the field, that’s my main goal.”