The 2012 season has been just as tough for the Boston Red Sox as the last month of their 2011 campaign. Although fans have endured significant recent disappointment, the future appears bright given the way that the team has continued to smartly draft and sign young players. The consensus jewel of their 2012 draft is polished shortstop Deven Marrero, who is in just the second month of his professional career but could be a regular in Boston before long.
Marrero is a product of Arizona State University, which has a reputation as a veritable factory of professional grade ballplayers, including Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia. During his three seasons with the Sun Devils Marrero became known as perhaps the best shortstop in college. He is a plus defender with a great arm, and showed a skilled bat, including a .397 batting average as a freshman. His average dropped to .313 as a sophomore and .284 as a junior, which many attributed to a change in his swing, but didn’t push him out of first round consideration because of how well-rounded he is considered by most teams.
The Red Sox took Marrero with the 24th overall pick in this year’s draft with the hopes of being able to pair him in the near future as Pedroia’s double play partner. Keeping with their organizational philosophy of not rushing their young players, they had Marrero start his professional career with the Lowell Spinners in the short season New York-Penn League. Thus far he has shown why the Sox are so high on him, as he is hitting .283 with a home run, 9 RBI, and 9 stolen bases in 32 games. More information about his statistics is available at http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=571918.
During a recent Lowell road trip to Vermont I was able to chat with Marrero prior to one of the games. He graciously shared some insight about his background and experiences in the minors. If all goes as planned expect to see him in Boston before long, manning the left side of the infield between Pedroia and Will Middlebrooks.
Deven Marrero Interview:
How did you first become interested in baseball?: Growing up my family was a baseball family. I’ve got two cousins who live right next to each other and they started playing baseball. Pretty much we started playing baseball since we were little kids; little babies. Instead of a soccer ball or a football in my hands, it was a glove and a bat. Growing up that was my number one sport really.
How did you end up with Arizona State University?: The tradition. They sold me on the tradition, it’s a great program over there and they have a great tradition of going to the College World Series and definitely produce some major league baseball players. That’s the most important thing. They get you ready for the next level and they play baseball the right way.
What was your draft experience like this year?: It was a lot of fun. I was anxious getting ready to figure out which team I was going to get picked by. It was a fun process, definitely. I’m happy I got picked by Boston. It’s a first class organization and I couldn’t be happier with it. It was a good experience to be with my family and all my friends, so it was cool.
Did you ever have any contact with ASU alum Dustin Pedroia prior to the draft?: Yeah! He always comes and stops by ASU every once in a while. We’ve just talked a little bit and he knew who I was and all that, so it was pretty cool to go over there to Fenway and just goof around with him and have a brother, an ASU alum next to my side.
What was your visit to Boston like after you signed with the Red Sox?: It was a lot of fun and a good experience. It’s kind of big to go to Fenway, but it was a cool picture for me to put in my mind and to put up on my wall. That’s where I’m going to be at the end of the day and that’s where I want to make my home.
Has Boston shared if they hope to keep you at shortstop or move you to another position?: Definitely shortstop. That’s the one position I’ve played my whole life and I don’t think I’ll move from there. But I’m just going to go out there and keep working at short and if they tell me to move, I’ll move. As for now, I’m a shortstop.
Now that you have signed your first pro contract are you planning on doing anything for yourself or your family to celebrate?: I haven’t decided that yet. I’m sure I’ll have a nice vacation or something like that. It’s been a while since we’ve had a family vacation. But as of right now I’ve just got to concentrate on playing baseball. When the off-season comes I’ll worry about that and have fun with my family because they deserve it just as much as I do.
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