Connor Marabell shrugs off draft and all-star snubs
BY JUSTIN LADA
About a year ago at this time, Connor Marabell took a somewhat expected tumble in the MLB Draft. Plenty of draft sites and information from people that source those writers thought that the Jacksonville University product would be taken somewhere in the 10-15 round range.
He wound up slipping to 25 despite landing on some pre-season awards lists and being one of the first basemen/outfielder to watch at Minor League Ball.
A year later, Marabell appears to have been snubbed again, maybe because of where he was drafted.
Coming into the game on June 10, Marabell holds a battling line of .335/.395/.508 with 20 doubles, four homers and 36 RBI. He’s second in the Midwest League in total bases (100), fourth in average, first in double, second in slugging, ninth in RBI and is 9-11 in stolen base attempts.
“Yeah. Got snubbed. But what can you do about it? I can’t control that. I’m just going to go about my business,” Marabell said.
Since the All-Star teams were announced on June 7 he’s had seven hits in three games and six RBI. It’s just more motivation for Marabell, who’s already carrying that feeling over from last year.
“I’ve got a little chip (on my shoulder), being drafted a little bit lower than expected, just trying to prove people wrong day in and day out,” Marabell said.
Even though he was expected to go a little higher in the draft, there were still questions about if Marabell would be an outfielder at the pro level or first basemen. That question of projection is probably what hurt his draft stock most.
“It’s going great,” Marabell said of sticking in the outfield so far in the organization. “I’ve always considered myself an outfielder. I’m versatile enough to play first base if need be. I think I can play the outfield in the big leagues.”
Marabell has a bit before he climbs the ladder to that point, but he has a good chance of playing on a bigger stage in the Midwest League, as the Captains are sitting with a playoff spot with the first half Wild Card with nine games to play.
“It makes the game more exciting,”he said. “We’re more excited. It makes you play harder.”
Hopefully Marabell picked up a few tips on playoff heroics from one of the JU alumns he worked out with in the offseason: 2015 NLCS MVP Daniel Murphy.
“He’s very unique. Love Daniel. He’s been good to the JU Dolphins over the years. He take care of.”
Marabell is proud of being a Dolphin, along with his father and uncle as well as teammate Austin Hayes, who was drafted by the Orioles on Friday.
Although his numbers don’t show it, Marabell says the biggest surprise to him has been what “grind” being a pro ball player is.
“I love it. But it can be a grind on your body sometimes.”
The Captains outfield as a whole this season hasn’t had much trouble day to day, as they’ve been one of the most productive units in the league. Nathan Lukes’ .330/.421/.483 is near the top in the league and he has 14 steals in 19 attempts. Before a shoulder injury to Ka’ai Tom, the third of the Indians college outfield draft picks in 2015, he was hitting .323/.446/.434 with 21 walks compared to 13 strikeouts.
“We have a good time out there and push each other,” Marabell said of the Captains productive outfield this season.
Marabell is having a good time so far this first half, even if he won’t be with his teammates on the field in Cedar Rapids. Marabell seems to have no problem with people doubting him. He’s kept his head down and kept hitting in spite of it all.
POSTED 06/10/2016 22:43