Joey Marciano, LHP
BATS: L / THROWS: L
ACQUIRED: Drafted 2017, 36th Round
LAST LEVEL: Triple-A
VOLATILITY: Very High
GiantFutures 2023 Ranks: #8 Relief Pitcher
2022 Performance: Joey Marciano had some real ups and down in his 2022 season at Sacramento. Marciano had a very strong start to the year, with a 1.04 ERA after the season’s first month, and carried a 2.50 ERA through the end of July. However, he finished the season with two rough months, ending the season at a 4.12 ERA.
Overall on the season, Marciano finished the season with 62 strikeouts to 33 walks in 59.0 innings. He had a career-high .258 batting average allowed, though that was boosted a lot by a .389 batting average in August. Marciano had a tough time against right-handed batters as you’d expect for a left-handed pitcher, giving up a .863 OPS compared to holding left-handers to .613.
Strengths and Weaknesses: Marciano is an old-fashioned two-pitch reliever. He has a hard low-80’s slider that he uses against lefties to get strikeouts, and he pairs it with a mid-90’s fastball with a sharp sinking motion. He gets the strikeouts off the slider more, but it also tends to get hit a bit hard by right-handed hitters.
Marciano’s control is average at best, and it took a step back in 2022, as he struggled with walks all season long. When he’s at his best, he can pound the strike zone with his sinker, but he hasn’t been consistent with it.
2023 Outlook: Another season at Sacramento is lined up, with an MLB debut possible this season. Marciano has not used any options yet, so he’s a good bet to be the left-handed specialist that Zaidi calls up when the big league team needs him.
Future Profile: The rules about pitcher minimums have mostly done away with the old standards of specialist, but Marciano would fit into a classic lefty-specialist mold, though as a harder thrower. If Marciano could find a way to keep right-handers more off-balance, and stay consistent all season, he would make a fine role-player and special weapon.