Padres No. 12 prospect shifts gears from power to speed in Fall League

October 20th, 2023

MESA, Ariz. -- A couple of weeks ago, showed off his power in the Arizona Fall League. Now he's displaying a much more familiar skill set.

The Padres' No. 12 prospect paced the organization with 46 swiped bags on 55 attempts this season, a number that jumps off the page considering his average run tool (50 on the 20-to-80 prospect scale). But the large quantity of successes shouldn't overshadow the quality of the attempts.

And, as a result, his keen instincts and precision on the bases have carried over to the Arizona Fall League.

The 22-year-old showed off his wheels on Thursday night, swiping three bags in Peoria's 8-3 loss to Mesa to take over the AFL lead with 10 stolen bases. Through 12 games this fall, Marsee has yet to be caught, and he only swiped three bags once during the regular season on Aug. 10 for High-A Fort Wayne.

"We talk a lot as a team, and we can see what the pitcher is doing throughout the game," he said. "So I just try to take advantage and get on base, capitalize on the things that we see and get good jumps."

After leading off the evening with a five-pitch walk, Marsee took second base with ease off Astros prospect Tyler Guilfoil without drawing a throw from Connor Pavolony (Orioles) behind the plate. Moments later, Marsee snagged third on a headfirst slide.

He reached once again in the fifth on a walk before darting into second and again easily beating the throw. That proved beneficial, as he took third on a groundout and scored later in the frame on a sacrifice fly by the Guardians' Chase DeLauter (MLB No. 85). His final steal put him ahead of Scottsdale speedsters Victor Scott II (STL No. 4) and Oliver Dunn (Phillies) atop the circuit leaderboard.

Only three players in Fall League history have stolen 20 bases in a single season: Rick Holifield (1994, 24), Desi Relaford (1994, 21) and Eric Young Jr. (2008, 20). With 10 steals just before the halfway point of the campaign, Marsee is on pace to join that list.

"I'm always trying to take advantage and trying to get closer to scoring and helping my teammates out," he said. "Any chance I can do that, I'm going to try to do it."

A left-handed hitting outfielder with above-average plate discipline, Marsee put himself on the map in his first full season of pro ball. In 129 games between High-A Fort Wayne and Double-A San Antonio, Marsee hit .274/.413/.428 with 16 homers and 46 RBIs. His 98 walks also led all Padres Minor Leaguers, while his .841 OPS ranked third in the system.

The 2022 sixth-round pick has flashed some power this fall as well, with nine of his 19 hits going for extra bases. His early surge led to him earn AFL Hitter of the Week honors, and he hasn't slowed down since.

"I feel really comfortable right now," Marsee said. "We have a really good hitting coach here [Pat O'Sullivan], he gives a good game plan every day. Whenever a pitcher comes in, just as a group we all communicate every time we go up to the plate and we all know what the pitcher's trying to do to us. All the communication is helping us big time.

"These are all top prospects and they are here for a reason, so if you're not locked in, it's going to show," Marsee added. "I'm really excited to be able to play against this competition and I'm really lucky to be here."

Though Marsee went hitless in three at-bats Thursday, he contributed a pair of walks on a night where three San Diego prospects combined to reach base five times. Graham Pauley, San Diego's Minor League Hitter of the Year and the organization's No. 11 prospect, tallied a pair of hits while Nathan Martorella (SD No. 10) added a walk.

Marsee has enjoyed building a rapport with his fellow Padres this fall, a group vying to be a vital cog in San Diego's future.

"It's been a lot of fun, we've all gotten really close. It's really cool to come up together and play together and learn from each other," he said. "Every day we work out together and do everything together. It's been a lot of fun being able to do that, and I think it's paying off."