The 2021 year was one of ups and downs for James Marinan. When the minor league season began in May, Marinan remained back in Goodyear at the spring training complex. He was healthy, but the organization asked him to work on some things before heading out to join a full-season team.
After spending the first six weeks of the season back in Arizona, the Reds sent James Marinan to join their Low-A affiliate in Daytona on June 19th. His first game came out of the bullpen and he struggled, giving up two home runs and three earned runs in just 2.0 innings. He would follow that up with a start a week later against Clearwater and give up three more runs, this time throwing 4.0 innings and picking up four strikeouts.
On July 2nd James Marinan took the mound against Lakeland and tossed 5.0 hitless innings with four walks and six strikeouts. Over the next two outings though, he struggled – giving up eight earned runs in 7.2 combined innings. In some aspects he rebounded from there over the next four starts as he posted a 4.00 ERA in 18.0 innings, but he walked 16 batters in that stretch with just 12 strikeouts. It was the next start that really was a struggle for Marinan as he allowed seven runs in just 3.0 innings against Palm Beach with five walks and just two strikeouts.
Four days later he returned to the mound against Palm Beach, but this time it was in relief. He threw 3.0 innings and allowed a run. Eight days later he was back in the rotation and threw 5.0 shutout innings against the Mets with just two walks. The next week he made his final start for Daytona, giving up a run in 5.0 innings against Fort Myers where he had a walk and five strikeouts.
Cincinnati promoted the righty to High-A Dayton for the final two weeks of the minor league season. Marinan responded and did so in a big way. In his first start against Lake County he struck out 11 batters – easily the most he’d struck out all season – over 6.0 1-hit innings. Six days later he made his final start of the year at home against Fort Wayne and tossed 6.0 shutout innings with four walks and six strikeouts.
For all 2021 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).
James Marinan Scouting Report
Position: Right-handed pitcher | B/T: R/R
Height: 6′ 5″ | Weight: 239 lbs | Acquired: Trade (Dodgers, 2018)
Born: October 10, 1998
Fastball | The pitch can run up to 98 MPH, but at times it worked in the low-to-mid 90’s and at other times it would sit in the mid-90’s.
Curveball | A pitch that can almost look like a slurve at times, works in the 78-81 MPH range with good spin. It flashes above-average to plus.
Change Up | A clear third offering that can be a bit firm at times, but has a chance to be an average offering in the future.
Following the season the Reds sent Marinan to the Arizona Fall League where he threw 18.0 innings, allowed 18 hits, walked 9 batters, and picked up 18 strikeouts. Shortly after the AFL season ended Cincinnati made the decision to add him to the 40-man roster to protect him from the yet-to-happen Rule 5 draft.
James Marinan is not short of stuff. He’s got two potentially above-average offerings and a third average pitch to work with. He’s got the size that teams love to see from potential starting pitchers, too. But he’s battled both consistency and control issues throughout his career and that held true in 2021 as well.
If he’s going to make it to the big leagues as a starter he’s going to have to throw more strikes. He threw 82.2 innings between Daytona, Dayton, and the Arizona Fall League and he walked 50 batters. That’s just way too many free passes. While a move to the bullpen could potentially help there, the Reds are likely to give him time to try and improve as a starter before making that kind of move.
Interesting Stat on James Marinan
Right-handed hitters posted a .186/.307/.256 line against him during the 2021 season.
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