Nick Maronde: Top Angels Prospect #6

6) Nick Maronde, 09/05/1989 -- LHSP, Adv Rookie Ball

5 wins, 0 losses. 51.1 IP, 2.10 ERA, 41 hits, 56 K/19 BB. 22 runs saved, 2.6 WAR

Ranking in a nutshell: As a big three-pitch lefty with easy velocity, Maronde has the raw ingredients to be a frontline starter in the big leagues. Tom Kotchman talked him up to me generally and labeled his change-up a "major league pitch," which is great news since that offering will be key to Maronde's success in pro ball. Baseball America likes his new two seam fastball, and especially his breaking ball, saying that "neither righties nor lefties could square up his slider when it was at its best."

Sources I like (here and here) are more conservative, projecting him as a back of the rotation guy or a set up man due to the mediocre offspeed stuff and iffy command that undercut his success as an amateur. Their position is perfectly reasonable; I just think, given the exciting reports about his stuff in pro ball and the success the Angels have had in recent years developing guys like this, that Maronde could wind up with a higher ceiling than expected.

Track record: He flamed out as a starter in at the University of Florida, despite the good fastball, but met success as a reliever in his junior season. His numbers at Orem were very good, but Pioneer League performance is usually not predictive. He's at a similar career crossroads as Pat Corbin and Tyler Kehrer were following the 2009 season, and one of those guys took off in full season league while the other couldn't throw enough strikes to get A-Ball hitters out consistently. The track record just doesn't give us a clear idea about what his numbers will look like next year.

Win the Lottery Ceiling: A classic #2 lefty, ready to line up behind a right-handed ace in playoff action. In that way he's similar to CJ Wison, actually. If he doesn't reach that ceiling, it's very easy to imagine him winding up a fine, high leverage reliever.

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