Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Look at the Braves Newest Pitcher: Stephen Marek

A lot of my friends here in Georgia have been asking me about the Teixeira trade and what to expect from Casey Kotchman and Stephen Marek, the 2 players Atlanta received in the deal. While Kotchman has put in some time at the major league level and is a relatively known player, Marek is one of those no-name prospects floating around in the minors without an ounce of fanfare. So, I thought we should take a look at him and see if he's any good.

To be honest, Marek was just a spare part to balance out what the Braves were losing with what they were getting from the Angels. He's not exactly Grade A beef, but more like the meat you get in a burrito at Taco Bell that has a little beef mixed with some textured vegetable protein. In other words, he's pretty much more of the same for Braves fans.

*The above chart is a comparison of AA pitching stats. Be sure to note the age differences.

In basic terms, Marek and Chuck James are pitching twins separated at birth. If Marek is the meat in your Taco Bell burrito, James is the weird chicken meat in those chicken nuggets your kids (and some of you) love to eat. There are some slight differences, like the walk rate and ground ball rates, but they pretty much balance each other out. Charlie Morton is the happy intermediate, with stats somewhere in between.

So, in a nutshell Braves fans, don't get too excited about this one. If I cared to come up with a projection for Marek, it would be a #4 or #5 starter if he's lucky, but more likely a sketchy #5/ bullpen type with an ERA in the 4.50-6.50 range.
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Micah said...

With Tim Hudson due for tommy john's, and smolts being at best questionable for next season, I think we can safely say that the braves are not going to be competitive this season or next.

I realize that the Tex trade happened before hudson was hurt, but it still sounds like Wren is trying to put together a post-season caliber team for next season! I don't think the is realistic, and I think we lost alot of potential value for Texaria by getting some "taco bell beef" players who are in or close to the major league level instead of picking up some angus beef guys who are 2 or 3 years out. Its a shame what we gave up to GET Tex compaired to what we got in exchange for him. (Thats an interesting question: I would like to see a compairison of the guys we gave up to the rangers compaired to what we got from the Angels. Did we loose talent overall in exchange for having Tex for 2 failed half seasons? Would be better off now if we had never gotten Tex?)

Anyhow, my question for you is this: Are there any younf prospects out there that you think the braves could get ahold of by trading some of their major league talent (like kotsay, norton, or maybe even Kelly Johnson)?

Adam G said...

I think it's pretty safe to say that the Braves gave up A LOT more talent to land Tex than they got in return when they traded him to the Angels. And unfortunately, I can't think of a single player the Braves could trade in order to land some above average young talent (unless they traded Jair Jurrjens, but that would be trading young talent for young talent, which is pretty pointless).

It's a really bad position to be in, but the Braves pretty much went for it all last year in the Tex deal, and it flat out didn't work.