Who Am I?
Outfield. (All of it. No matter where he plays.)
Height: 6′ 4″
Weight: 220 (significantly higher than I would have guessed)
Bats right, throws right
How Did I Get Here?
Marisnick was originally drafted by Toronto in the 3rd round of the 2009 draft. He was traded to Florida/Miami, along with (deep breath)… Henderson Alvarez, Anthony DeSClafani, Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Jeff Mathis and Justin Nicolino in exchange for (another deep breath)… Emilio Bonifacio, John Buck, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, and Jose Reyes.
(We interrupt this player history to remind you that George Steinbrenner committed actual, real crimes… and was a FAR superior to Joffrey Loria. Loria has to be on the short list for worst owners ever in any sport.)
Marisnick then came to Houston with Martes and Moran in the Jarred Cosart deal of July 2014.
Marisnick’s first arbitration year resulted in a $1.1M contract. He has two option years remaining and will be eligible for free agency in 2021.
Why Am I Here?
Marisnick is not your classic fourth outfielder; Beltran’s remaining ability to man left field fills that spot. No, Marisnick will be almost purely a defensive specialist, and (spring training shuffling aside) he should be in center field any time he is in the game.
What Are My Strengths?
Marisnick is simply outstanding in the outfield. Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier is, by consensus and by most statistics, the best center fielder in the game – he’s on a historical level of great center field play. Marisnick has a strong argument that he’s the second best center fielder right now. His range is the highlight of this package – there is not a ball hit to center field that you think “well, he’s not getting THAT.” (Offer does not apply to home runs. Some of them.)
Marisnick can also be a highly effective pinch runner.
What Are My Weaknesses?
It seems that each spring, we’re told that Marisnick has changed his mechanics to figure things out at the plate. Thus far, it’s never been true. If he could even give you a .300 OBP, you could argue that his glove makes him an every day player; but .300 is a high aspiration for a guy who has posted .231, . 281, .281, and .257. (His refusal to take pitches is a big part of this; he has only 48 career walks against 282 strikeouts.)
Loves to hit: Go ahead and get this guy some early games. In March and April, Marisnick has posted a .338/.387/.544 slash line. Compare that to a .216/.259/.323 line in every other month, and I don’t know what to tell you… maybe pitchers come into each season taking him for granted.
Hates to hit: Marisnick on pitches up and in makes Craig Biggio look like he destroyed sliders low and away. Average exit velocity on any given ball in play is in the 80-90 MPH range; up and in, Marisnick doesn’t quite average 50 MPH.
What is my future with the Astros?
Marisnick should stay on the roster as the designated defensive wizard until his arbitration clock runs out.
What is my projected 2017 performance?
Hey FanGraphs, there’s a bug in ZIPS. There is no conceivable way Jake Marisnick gets to double-digit homers.
Who else would I remind you of?
Look, we’re quite familiar with “this guy is so damn good in the field, if only he could hit a LITTLE bit!” But Marisnick doesn’t quite have Adam Everett’s bat, or his ears, so he doesn’t play every day.