Astros: Will Jake Marisnick make the 2017 roster?
By Reed Graff
Jake Marisnick has forged a spot in Houston the past few years as a speedy outfielder that plays spectacular defense, but those were weaker Astros teams with less talent. Can he keep his job?
The 2017 Houston Astros are looking to be loaded position player wise. The acquisitions of Brian McCann, Nori Aoki, Josh Reddick, and Carlos Beltran have strengthened the team and they may not be done. Big bat Edwin Encarnacion is still on the market, and although a trade for another bat is unlikely, it is possible. This makes things interesting for some of the Astros from 2016. Jake Marisnick is somewhat of a fan favorite, and despite having obvious talent, he hasn’t been able to become a complete player.
Marisnick came to Houston as part of the trade that sent Jarred Cosart to Miami. At the time he was an athletic outfielder with superior speed, but scouts questioned his offensive skills. So far, it seems they were correct to.
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The 26 year old has hit .225 in 4 seasons in the majors, and has an on base percentage of .268. While he is still young, and has elite speed, Marisnick fails to play up offensively. He has shown flashes of being an average hitter, getting hot at times and showing some power, but a lack of consistency has held him back.
There are several new players in Houston now that excite us, but may not excite Marisnick as far as playing time goes.
Josh Reddick and Nori Aoki are the players that may ultimately lead to Marisnick being pushed to the minor leagues. The two figure to get most of the outfield playing time alongside George Springer and Yulieski Gurriel. Fellow youngsters Tony Kemp and Teoscar Hernandez both also show more offensive potential and both possess enough defensive prowess to beat Marisnick for the last outfield spot. Hernandez may even run away with the left field job. For Marisnick to remain a factor in 2017, he is going to have to become more valuable as an offensive weapon. Even a .250 average could make him a valuable bottom of the lineup player, but until he shows he can do so, he may find himself making Fresno his home in 2017.
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Jake Marisnick remains an exciting player, but his struggles at the plate hold him back. His ceiling at this point is a 4th outfielder where most of his value comes from his defense. Marisnick is a Gold Glove caliber defender, and if he could manage to get on base, he has enough speed to create havoc for opposing teams. But until he can do so, Marisnick may be on the outside looking in.
**Statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference**