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September 4, 2012

BP Unfiltered

Nick Maronde's Debut

by Sam Miller

The Angels didn't have a second-round pick in 2011, so after drafting C.J. Cron in the first round they had to wait until the 103rd overall pick to draft their next player: Nick Maronde, a college pitcher out of Florida. Just 15 months later, Maronde made his debut in an Angels uniform on Sunday, against Carlos Peguero. He threw three pitches; 

Maronde is the fifth player that Baseball-Reference can find with a line exactly like Maronde in a major-league debut: 1/3 IP, 1 K, 3 pitches. Sure, pitch counts on B-Ref only go back a couple decades. Sure, most pitchers aren't brought in for just one batter in their debuts. Sure, the previous four are only Dan Runzler, Lucas Luetge, Jesse Carlson and Tim Young. But whatever. Maronde did it and now you know he did it. 

Here's what we wrote about Maronde in this year's Annual: 

Maronde is a big lefty with a mid-90s fastball and above-average changeup, which was enough to mow down the Pioneer League even without a refined breaking pitch. Maronde was signed by Angels scout Tom Kotchman, an organizational elder who also managed Maronde at Orem. Kotchman picks almost always get high marks for demeanor, and Maronde already has a reputation in the organization as mature and confident on the mound. That reputation won't slow his ascent up the ladder.

And here's what Goldstein wrote about him while ranking him the Angels' no. 8 prospect before the season: 

The Good: Maronde's best pitch is a heavy low-90s sinker that can touch 94 and generates ground balls when it's not missing bats. His slider is a little soft in terms of velocity, but features excellent two-plane break.
The Bad: Maronde needs to deepen his arsenal to remain a starter. He has a changeup, but it's a fringy offering, and he needs to improve his pitch sequencing and get out of the short-burst mentality of relief work.

The Angels skipped him past the friendlier Midwest League and sent him to the Cal League, where he had the second-best ERA by a starter. (He was second-best among starters in the Pioneer League in 2011, too. Both times he was topped by the Reds' Tony Cingrani, another lefty starter called up this month to join a contending bullpen.) He earned a quick promotion to Double-A and threw loads of strikes, with a shrinking K rate: 21 strikeouts, three walks in 32 innings for Arkansas. He made two relief appearances at the end of the Texas League season, his first relief outings since he was a college closer. He's probably still not what you'd call a tremendous prospect, but he's the third player from his draft to make the majors. 

Sam Miller is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Sam's other articles. You can contact Sam by clicking here

Related Content:  Nick Maronde

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