Top 50 Jays Prospects, Jays Journal Edition: #39 Dayton Marze

Yet another reliever in out late picks…

#39: Dayton Jerome Marze

21 years old, 6’2″ 185 lbs

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image courtesy of www.ragincajuns.com

Born: Jan 1st 1989, in Lafayette Louisiana

Bats Right   Throws Right

High School Team: Teurlings Catholic

College: University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Drafted: Drafted by the Jays in the 14th rd, 426th overall, of the 2010 draft. Signed away from his last 2 years of eligibility with the Ragin’ Cajuns at a cost of a paid for education and $112,500

Wears: #32 for the Auburn Doubledays

Quick Facts:

  • Also played basketball while at Teurlings Catholic HS. In fact, you can see a video of him doing a 360 degree dunk on youtube here.
  • Was part of the Teurlings Catholic HS teams that made the state playoffs 3 years in a row.
  • He made the All-District and All-Acadiana selections as a Junior in HS.
  • Marze was also All-State, All-Parish, First team All-District, and All-Acadiana  - as well as District 6-3A MVP during his Senior year.
  • The Jays are very familiar with the Louisiana Lafayette baseball program, as they also selected Daniel Farquhar from the squad a little ways back.
  • Despite being 2 of the youngest arms on the team, he and fellow 2010 draftee Drew Permison were entrusted with closing duties in Auburn, alternating in the role daily.
  • Although on the surface Drew’s stats with Auburn may look a little more “dominant”, Dayton walked fewer hitters which shows more control, and also has the size to add a lot of strength to his frame, giving him a slight edge over Permison.
  • Dominated LHB in Auburn to the tune of a 2.13 ERA with a .159 batting average against.
  • The most puzzling part of Marze’s game is his ability on the road (.182 batting average against) in comparison to his performance at home (.304 average against). It could just be the competition being different, but sometimes it also has to do with the pressure a pitcher feels, so it’s something to keep an eye on.
  • Jesse Goldberg-Strassler had an early look at the Lansing Lugnuts starting lineup forecast for 2011 in September, with both Drew Permison and Dayton Marze likely to make the jump there. If he’s right on both counts, it will go a long way to making the Lugnuts a formidable force in 2011 improving what he rightly describes as a “disappointing 2010 bullpen”. Just look at that pitching staff and lineup, it carries a ton of reasons to buy some tickets and monitor their progress!
  • My favourite “Marze tenacity” article is the recap of his getting into trouble while closing a game against the Scrappers for Auburn. The recounting of that game just shows how he steps up while under pressure, something that every closer needs because you’re not going to have your best stuff every single night.

Stats:

Year Team Age Lvl W L ERA G SV IP H ER HR BB SO WHIP
2009 Louisiana 20 NCAA 0 1 13.5 5 0 8 9 12 0 11 7 2.50
2010 Louisiana 21 NCAA 5 4 3.22 18 2 50 53 18 1 16 34 1.37
Auburn 21 A- 2 1 2.73 21 8 26 25 8 0 6 20 1.18

Interviews/Videos:

  • Could not find any.

Extra Information and previous experience:

2012. That’s how early we could see this 2010 draft pick reach the Jays. It’s an indication of just how quickly Marze is polishing his stuff and how dominant he can become if he continues to progress at his current rate. He was an extremely raw pitcher when the Jays got him in the draft and still had 2 years of eligibility in College after his breakout 2010 season, but chose to forego that for a pro career with a guarantee to have the Jays pay for his education. In fact, most believed that he would be a hard sign and that his talent dictated a 7th to 10th round pick, so the Jays got a steal on both counts.

Many people question why Marze signed with the Jays for little over $100,000 when he could have increased his stock tremendously if he had remained in College. It’s a fair question, but you also have to take into account how much more he will progress as a pro in comparison to being in College, how much more quickly he’ll make it to the majors as a result, and how quickly he can progress up the salary ladder due to an earlier pro signing. All of these things – and a guaranteed paid for education – make his signing with the Jays make a whole lot of sense. Hey, if you’re serious about becoming a pro baseball player, play baseball at the highest level possible. Just ask Jake Eliopolous if he’d like a do over in order to decide whether or not he should have signed with the Jays while his stock was high. I’m 100% positive he’d say he should have signed.

A ragincajuns.com article stated this about Marze after he was drafted:

“Marze logged three-plus innings in relief nine times, each time allowing one or no earned runs. He posted multiple strikeouts in nine of 18 appearances”

They sure did use his arm to their advantage by the time he left and were depending on him returning for the 2011 season as well. There were times when Marze was used for as many as 6 innings of relief. He did extremely well in those situations, so it indicated just how ready to go he kept himself day-to-day and his potential as a starter. However, I’m certain that his 3 inning relief appearances will be few and far between as a pro.

Marze does have the ability to throw multiple innings if he has to. It leads to some questions as to whether or not he could become a starter if need be, but since the Jays left him in a closing role as he entered the minors – instead of making him a starter as they did with Brett Cecil – it leads us to believe they want to groom him as a reliever. Still, his size and strength indicate that he should have some longevity and that he could become a long-reliever if need be.

An American League area scout said of Marze while he was in College:

“They’ve got a guy in the bullpen named Dayton Marze; he throws hard, 90-92, 93 with some sink on there, a good arm.”

Since his signing, Marze has made more strides than could be imagined in such a short period of time and showed that he was well worth the pick in the 14th round. The sinker is what makes and breaks Marze on any given night. He likes to keep the ball down, throws hard with the possibility of hitting 95 MPH as he gets stronger, and will use his sinker on any count to induce ground balls or get Ks. His heater works between 89-93 MPH as well and he locates it easily enough, but he does lack a 3rd dominant pitch to work off of. He is working on off speed offerings with coaches to develop that 3rd pitch, something that has progressively helped him become more effective in Auburn during the 2010 season.

With an above-average sinker and slightly above-average fastball, Marze likes to be aggressive. My favourite stat of his, one that shows his “take no prisoners” attitude, is his 5 hit batters stat in Auburn and the fact that he had hit 9 batters in his last College year. Sure, you can look at that as a negative and say he missed his location, but I would rather say that he’s not afraid to go inside and lock up hitters as a result, something that worked well for Pedro Martinez and should work well for Marze. If you’ve ever stood at the plate and tried to hit a 93 MPH heater down and in, you know exactly what I mean. That, and his tenacity when facing adversity in late innings, is what tells me that he has the attitude and ability to become a setup guy at a minimum, and a closer should he inherit the role and improve his off speed offerings.

You also have to like the fact that Marze only allowed 1 HR in his entire 2010 season, without allowing any while with Auburn. His downward momentum on pitches doesn’t make it easy for hitters to get much lift on the ball, so it really takes a mistake from him high in the zone for hitters to hit a long ball against him. That’s a great tool to have as a closer, or as a starter for that matter. It limits the damage and allows you to make some minor mistakes without paying the price immediately.

For some reason, I’m a bigger fan of Dayton Marze‘s potential as a future late innings man for the Jays than I am of any other reliever not named Farina and would not be surprised to see them try him as a starter at some point if his 3rd offering develops well enough. He’s a fierce and fearless competitor who brings his game up as the pressure mounts.

The 2011 season will be an interesting one for Marze. He’ll be able to get away without a dominant off speed offering in LoA and possibly HiA, but if he makes it to AA during the season he will need to keep hitters a lot more off balance, so we’ll see how that plays out if it happens. In any case, I expect he’ll move quickly in the system with the departures of Danny Farquhar, Tim Collins, and Trystan Magnuson.

With his effectiveness against LHB being as high as it is, he should at the very minimum become a prominent LHB shut down arm in an MLB pen by 2013. His ability to move quickly through the system and lower risk of not making it to The Show is why we felt comfortable ranking him ahead of higher draft pick Justin Nicolino. We definitely felt that Marze could help the Jays out very quickly and throw some nice heaters inside for the Jays pen.

Expected 2011 Team: Lansing Lugnuts

Ultimate ceiling if he puts it all together: #4 starter or more likely a Closer or Setup man

- MG

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