Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Marrero sets sights on 'biggest stage'
By Rick Weber, Special to ESPNBoston.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- From the couch of his home in Miami, Deven Marrero watched the World Series play out on television.
For him, it was a juxtaposition of wishing he was the starting shortstop for the Red Sox while also admiring the performances of Xander Bogaerts and Brandon Workman, minor-league mates who were called up during the season and didn’t buckle under the pressure.
“It was cool to see them on the biggest stage, living their dream and fulfilling their dream of a world championship in their first year,” he said. “That’s pretty special.”
Asked if that could be him one day, he fired back: “That will be me one day. That’s the way I think.
Marrero says he models his game after fellow "A-State boy" Dustin Pedroia. "We kind of have the same mentality. We play hard. That's the way we were taught at Arizona State," he said.
That’s the way I handle my business. I will be there one day.”
Marrero was Boston’s No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft out of Arizona State, signing a $2.05 million bonus -- a bump of $300,000 over the recommended slot number for the 24th pick.
After spending the rest of that year in Low-A Lowell, he started 2013 at High-A Salem and then was promoted to Double-A Portland to replace Bogaerts on Aug. 12. He stole a combined 27 bases in 29 attempts and was named the system’s Baserunner of the Year.
Although three of 2012’s award-winners -- Bogaerts (Offensive Player of the Year), Workman (Pitcher of the Year) and Jackie Bradley Jr. (Defensive Player of the Year) -- reached the big leagues the year after being honored, Marrero will probably start the season in Portland and perhaps reach Triple-A Pawtucket after the All-Star break.
He said this camp is dedicated to turning his weaknesses into strengths, to becoming more consistent, particularly at the plate.
“There’s some times when I let some of my at-bats get away,” he said. “I get too aggressive. I just want to stay more consistent throughout the long season -- just to stay healthy and continue to play good defense, playing the game the right way, playing the game hard, stealing bases and creating havoc out there.”
Asked who he models his game after, he nodded in the direction of Dustin Pedroia, who was dressing at his locker nearby.
“One-five over there,” he said. “A-State boy. We kind of have the same mentality. We play hard. That’s the way we were taught at Arizona State. That works for him here in the major leagues. That’s someone I try to emulate, somebody who plays the game the right way and leaves it all out there, every game, every at-bat.”