Prospect Retrospective: Jason Marquis
Jason Marquis was a supplemental first-round draft pick by the Atlanta Braves in 1996, drafted 35th overall, from high school in Staten Island, New York. Assigned to Danville in the Appalachian League, he went 1-1 with a 4.63 ERA in 7 games. His 24/7 K/BB ratio in 23 innings was impressive, but he gave up 18 runs and 30 hits. Still, he threw strikes and struck people out, and it was good work from a cold-weather state 17-year-old.
Moving up to full-season Macon in 1997, Marquis went 14-10 with a 4.38 ERA and a 121/55 K/BB ratio in 142 innings. He began the year 10-2, 3.08, but wore down badly in the second half and slumped. In my '98 book, I gave him a Grade B, noting that Marquis "should develop into a fine pitcher" if he didn't wreck his arm first.
Promoted to Danville in the Carolina League in '98, Marquis went just 2-12 with a poor 4.87 ERA. He did post a sharp 135/41 K/BB in 155 innings, and did not pitch nearly as badly as his W-L and ERA indicated. I gave him a Grade B- in the '99 book.
Marquis began '99 at Myrtle Beach, posting a 0.28 ERA in 6 starts, earning a promotion to Double-A Greenville. There, he went 3-4, 4.58 in 12 starts. He spent much of the summer on the DL with a sore elbow and a strained ribcage. That, and a sharp deterioration in his K/BB after his promotion, worried me a great deal. I still gave him a Grade B-, but with the comment that he was at risk for a serious injury.
Marquis opened 2000 in Double-A, going 4-2 with a 3.57 ERA and a 49/23 K/BB. He also appeared in 15 games for the Braves, with a 5.01 ERA and a 17/12 K/BB in 23 innings, being used in relief. Once again, he got a Grade B- rating from me. I remained very intrigued with his potential, but was worried about his health and I wasn't sure he was being handled properly.
Marquis spent all of 2001 with Atlanta, being used as a swingman and pitching very well at times. A move to the rotation full-time in 2002 did not go as well (5.04 ERA in 22 starts). Marquis spent much of 2003 back in the minors, and pitched badly enough in his Major League stint that the Braves decided he would not develop. He ended up going to the Cardinals in the J.D. Drew trade. The change of scenery seemed to help Marquis: he was quite effective last year in St. Louis, and is pitching well again this season.
Marquis' track record in the minor leagues was erratic, but he usually posted strong K/BB and K/IP rates, and was usually young for his leagues.
Similar Pitchers to Jason Marquis, through age 25 (Based on Sim Score and PECOTA, no active comps)
A mixture of injury burnouts (Redfern, Simpson) and solid guys (Goltz, Stottlemyre, Denny).