The lanky southpaw signed with the Cubs for $600K as a 16-year-old in 2015. He made his stateside debut last summer in the Rookie-Level Arizona League, striking out more than a batter per inning while keeping his free passes in check. He’s likely to head to Short-Season Eugene later this summer.
Marquez worked 90-to-92 mph with his fastball, touching 93 at best and showing above-average tailing action. He commanded the heater better to the armside, and altogether, the ingredients are here for an average fastball with playable in-zone location at maturity. His go-to secondary is a hard curveball in the 80-to-83 mph range; it flashes late, sharp bite at best, though its velocity and three-quarters tilt might wind up morphing into more of a slider at the end of the day. His changeup lags behind the other two pitches, overthrown at 86-to-87 mph without much movement. Both off-speed pitches are far away from being usable before two strikes, as Marquez is only able to expand the zone with his curve and change.
With no feel for a third pitch, my realistic projection is an eventual shift to the bullpen. In that role, he has a good shot in set-up, where he projects to hold his delivery better in shorter stints and get chases on the breaker. At only 19 with projection left, there’s still time for Marquez to work from the rotation in hopes he finds feel for a change up, but the pen is more likely.