Shane Marshall – Picture via his Twitter Account
Without a doubt, the strangest pick the Cubs made in the 2022 draft was taking Shane Marshall as a pitcher from the University of Georgia. Marshall was a senior who had spent his entire Georgia career being known as a defensive catcher. He pitched a whopping 1.2 innings over two years doing mop up duty as a position player. Those had to be some pitches for the Cubs to use a 14th round pick on a guy that pitched in a total of three games in two years.
Age – 22
Height – 6-foot-4
Weight – 210
Throws – Right
From – Naples, Florida
College – Georgia
Drafted in the 14th round of the 2022 MLB Draft
It’s not as if the Cubs are pulling a rabbit out of a hat here. Marshall actually pitched in high school.
Here is what Dan Kantrovitz told Mully and Haugh on 670 the Score on how selecting Marshall all went down.
“Any good scout will tell you, if you’ve seen it once, there’s a good chance you’re going to be able to see it again. And I think that’s especially true when you look at what Shane did. He threw a couple lightning bolts with his fastball earlier in the spring that we were fortunate to have a look upon both from a scouting lens as well as from a data lens. When those two things align and it indicated a pretty unique, special pitch and then as we did a little bit more digging and talked to some coaches, tried to put this in context, we become confident that that was something that was indicative of really his current skill level. Again, like I said, it was a lightning bolt of a couple pitches that he was throwing both from a velocity standpoint as well as an angle standpoint. We got pretty excited about it. And then we started to dig in and talk to him and our area scout really ended up putting us in a position here where we could feel comfortable pulling the trigger. He’s got work to do. He’s going to work with our pitching guys and work on becoming a complete pitcher, establishing more of a repertoire than just that nasty fastball. But he’s an exciting one, and I think those are the types of risks and moves you can make on day three of the draft.”
As for his development plan, there’s a small problem.
It has turned into a rehab plan.
He’s a big kid at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds. As a catcher, he’s used to throwing a ball a lot. He’s not used to throwing the ball 100-125 times a game but not at 95 miles an hour all the time.
His rehab plan would be a meeting I’d like to sit in on. It would be cool to hear how much strength and conditioning they’re going to do to build up his arm, shoulder muscles, legs, and core to withstand what they’re going to ask him to do which would probably be close to somewhere between 30 to 40 innings that first year back considering he won’t have thrown for a year plus. If he is able to bounce back late next year, maybe he just does 1 inning stints of 10-20 innings.
When he gets back to full strength, working on his fastball command and developing his secondary pitches will be the keys. I could sit here and say well we’d like to see him at some point in 2023 but that’s just wishful thinking. 2024 might be the more practical timeline.
The safe route then would be to have him go to extended spring training and throw once or twice a week, build up some arm strength, build up just being used to being a pitcher, and then you can send him to Myrtle Beach. Who knows, maybe he comes on like gangbusters and owns his rehab. We’re not going to know until next summer at the earliest.
But first, he has to get healthy. Those are plans A, B, and C.