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Prospect Report: Lou Marson

Prospect: Lou Marson
Position: Catcher
Birthday: June 26, 1986
Dimensions: 6-1/195 pounds
Level: AA Reading

Marson has been talk of the town lately. So far this season he’s been one of the major keys to the Reading offense:

41 G, 22 R, 2 HR, 31 RBI, 32 BB, 31 K, .345 AVG, .462 OBP, .460 SLG

The second-leading hitter in the Eastern League, Marson finds the bases. He’s been on base 50 percent of the time in May, according to Baseball America’s weekly Ten Pack. The report also says he’s thrown out 39 percent of would-be base stealers. Very impressive.

The right-handed-hitting Marson, a fourth-round draft pick in 2004, has made the standard climb of the ladder, starting at age 18 in the Gulf Coast League and moving each year to a new venue. In Clearwater he finished with a .288 average and .373 OBP. Not bad. This year he has broken out and is starting to project as an everyday catcher along the lines of Mike Lieberthal. Meanwhile, he’s been handling the same big-prospect pitchers (Carlos Carrasco, Josh Outman) for the past few years, and they’ve been consistently good. He seems to have found his all-around game.

Estimation: Marson is probably a full year away from contributing to the Phillies. Looking at the Phils’ situation, Carlos Ruiz and Chris Coste are both arbitration eligible after this season. It’s possible one will be here next year, one won’t. If so, it’s likely the Phils would bring Jason Jaramillo up as a backup for a short while, before Marson is ready. Then again, Marson could be ready by Opening Day 2009. No matter what, he should be up for good by midseason ’09.

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