Who Am I?
Age: 28 (boy, would I have guessed wrong on that one. Martin has always seemed at least 33 to me)
Height: 6′ 1″
Switch hitter, throws right
How Did I Get Here?
Marwin was originally signed by the Cubs as an international free agent in 2005. In 2011, he was selected by Boston in the Rule 5 draft, and immediately traded to Houston in exchange for Marco Duarte (anyone remember him? Anyone?) He split time between Houston and AAA in 2012 an 2013, and has been a fixture on the roster since.
Gonzalez avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $3.725M contract for 2017 that includes a $5.125M team option for 2018. He will be eligible for free agency after 2018.
Why Am I Here?
Every team needs a super-utility player, especially now as teams like the Astros insist on carrying 13 pitchers in an effort to turn the sixth through ninth inning into a parade of relievers beyond Tony La Russa’s wildest fantasies. Marwin will do his best Bugs Bunny impersonation by filling in at short, third, first, left field, and perhaps bullpen catcher and/or radio play-by-play.
What Are My Strengths?
The aforementioned utility. Marwin has done an admirable job of making himself a credible fielder no matter where you put him. He’s also developed some surprising pop, with 25 homers over the past 2 seasons.
What Are My Weaknesses?
That pop has come at a price. Marwin was never the most selective hitter, but he’s coming dangerously close to “Chuckie be hackin'” territory. 22 walks in 518 plate appearances last year. If you ask me which will be higher in 2017 – Marwin walks or McCullers wins – I’m thinking for a long while about that bet.
Loves to hit: Up in the zone. Marwin likes fastballs, but he really likes them middle up. If you look at his zone chart as a 3×3 grid, the top 6 boxes are all glowing bright red.
Hates to hit: Curveballs. Only 3 for 32 last year. Honorable mention to sliders, where he was 10 for 59. Put these together with his hot zone, and you get a clear picture: of over 1900 pitches Marwin faced in 2016, a full 57% either caught the lower corner of the zone, or missed low. The book is out on him.
What is my future with the Astros?
Marwin has a good couple years at least as the Astros’ designated utility guy. Do you extend a player like that into his 30s? Judging by the way Moran and White are scheduled to play around the diamond in AAA, I question whether such an offer will come Marwin’s way.
What is my projected 2017 performance?
Who else would I remind you of?
I will address him by his proper name: The Great Bill Spiers.