I had the pleasure of chatting with the youngest* member of the Mobile Baybears - Brandon Marsh. Signed in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft, there were some questions as to whether or not Marsh would even sign. He didn’t play at all that first year after signing and we’ll go into that more below.
Marsh is a great guy with a good head on his shoulders. He’s humble, he’s hungry to improve, and he loves the game. Speaking on the phone with these guys, you never know how it will go, but Marsh was really easy to talk to and I enjoyed our 20 minutes conversation. He even took the time after his first day of practice in Mobile to chat with me.
Brandon Marsh is fairly active on Instagram and you can follow him here @ brandon_marsh . You can also find him on Twitter @ brandon_marsh22.
*Jo Adell should be heading back to the Baybears after his IL stint and will re-gain his spot as the youngest player on the roster
I really appreciate you taking the time. Hopefully I won’t keep you too long.
No problem. You’re fine.
Can you tell me when you found out you were called up to Mobile and if you were expecting that?
So no, i was not expecting it. I found out literally two days ago. The last day of spring. So yea it was very exciting. Very happy about it.
Wow, that’s crazy. It was pretty cool to see since you had only played about 90 games or so at Inland Empire.
Yeah, that was the shocking part. I thought I’d have to put a little more time there and then go up. It was good news.
So being from the Atlanta area is this a little bit like a homecoming since it’s relatively close by?
It is a little bit. A lot of friends and family are gonna get to come see me play and it’s going to be fun. Not a lot of times in my career so far has that happened so it’s gonna be fun.
Except us Californians are not going to get to see you play anymore. Not for now anyway.
Yeah that’s the bad part. I apologize.
No worries, don’t apologize for that. So I have a non serious question for you. Being a BayBear this year are you a little disappointed you may not get to be a Trash Panda?
Um, I’m okay with not being a Trash Panda.
It’s closer to Atalanta though.
That’s true. But, yeah it’s good to be a BayBear
Can you tell me what your off season prep was like. Did you do anything different this year?
No, I did the exact same thing I did last year. Working out lifting at one place. Going 10 minutes running and doing conditioning at another place. It was a pretty good setup and spot we have so it worked out pretty well.
So what part of your game do you need to focus on the most. Is there any part of your game you are paying special attention to?
Definitely at the plate. Just being able to be consistent at the plate is what I really need to work on. I think defensively I do pretty well. But at the plate is where I really need to put my focus on this year.
One of our writers commented that you had made some adjustments with your hands and stance?
Yes. Just a lot of, I’ve been doing a lot of work on my bat path. Just clearing up some holes in my swing from start to finish. We had to fix a couple of little problems I had that were prohibiting me from making the move that I want to. So a lot of stuff in the later you were talking about just has to do with my path.
Is that helping you with your power as well?
I don’t really know yet. We’ll see though this year.
I think the ballpark you are at is not super home run friendly.
Yeah I’d have to agree with you. I took BP today and the ball does not fly.
Not like it does in the desert of California.
I wish the fences were still as short with the same carry you have in Arizona.
Yeah the ball really flies there.
So there’s been some guys on the team that you played with down in IE. Who are you most excited about reunited with there?
Um, I’m excited about when Jo gets here. When Jo Adell gets here and he gets healthy, that will be pretty fun.
Yep you guys get to play together again.
Yea it’s always fun playing with him.
I kind of assumed he’d start in double A because of his injury.
Yeah I don’t like to think of it that way. I feel bad for Jo. He’ll be back bigger and stronger.
Speaking of Jo, one of the other writers said he bought a Raymond Weil watch as his big splurge when he signed. Did you have any big splurges when you signed?
That’s the first time I’ve heard that. I don’t even know if I’ve seen him wear it.
You’re gonna have to ask him.
Yea, I’ll definitely ask him.
Are you rooming with anyone in Mobile?
I’m rooming with one of my best friends Brendon Sanger. And Jahmai Jones and Brandon Sandoval.
Oh very nice, we’ve talk to Jahmai a few times at Halos Heaven.
Yeah he’s a good dude.
So I’m going to go back to the draft and signing a bit here. There were reports at the time you were possibly not going to sign. Can you tell me a bit about that situation?
Well I had a full body MRI and a stress fracture in my lower back came up which prohibited me from playing my first year in the AZL. But the Angels were taking money away just like any organization would and I was going to go to school, maybe a JuCo and try to raise my stock after that but we met at a good number and clarified things and it ended up working out.
Was it hard to not play that first year?
It was very hard. I was the bat boy and the chart guy the whole year, so that was tough (laughs).
Do you have a favorite minor league stadium you’ve played at other than your home stadiums.
Um, One of the favorites I’ve been at so far was the Reds low A stadium. I forget what the name was but it was really nice. Had a lot of fans and had a great atmosphere. It was pretty cool to play there.
How about of all he different Angels stadiums at different levels, have you had a favorite so far?
So far my favorite has been Inland Empire. I haven’t played in the Mobile one yet so I’ll have to let you know when that happens. But the Inland Empire’s stadium, that was pretty cool.
Yeah we’ll talk to you again when you get called up to Triple A and ask you then. How does that sound?
I hope so. I hope you’re right.
Before we get into spring training, I want to get into some of the minor league life. Are you familiar with the minor league grinders instagram?
A little bit, but not too much. I’ve seen a couple posts.
So I’m just curious if you have any crazy stories of anything you’ve seen in the minors?
Um, nothing too crazy to go in depth about. Just the usual - no food, a lot of bus trips. A lot of peanut butter and jellies. Having to change from getting mom’s home cooked meals every night to peanut butter and jelly in between practice and games. Just the usual. I have nothing too crazy to go in depth about.
Spring training was pretty exciting, you got a lot of at bats there this year. How was that for you?
That was fun. Just getting to be around the best of the best. It was pretty cool just learning a lot about the mental side of baseball that I had no idea about. Those guys are physical specimens. They know how to perfect their craft. They prepare the same way every day and that’s different than a lot of the guys I’ve played with that were all just shown to the field and just play. They have a plan and a routine. I learned a lot about the mental IQ part of baseball that I guess I had no idea about and I think than could help in the long run.
What would you say was the one most important win you learned at your time in spring training?
Um, just seeing the type of pitchers that I saw, being aggressive with that one pitch that you’ll get that at bat. You may not even get it. Those pitchers are just so good at the level their at. If you take that one pitcher you’re pretty much doomed for that at bat. I can’t have the same mindset that I had at IE in big league camp because if I miss that one pitch, if I take that one pitch, then that at bat is pretty much done. But that was the big thing I learned.
That’s a good segue into my next question. Is there a pitcher that was the hardest you face this spring?
Um, I saw Joe Kelly for 5 pitches and he diced me pretty well. But the toughest pitcher probably would be Dustin May with the Dodgers. He’s got incredible stuff and he knows where he wants to throw it and where he wants to go with it every pitch. He executes really well and he’s a really good athlete, a really good pitcher.
So the Angels brought in a whole lot of new analytic guys. Were any of them around spring training, did you get to work or talk with any of them?
I actually did not get the chance to talk to any of them. But I am familiar with the new hires that we brought in and I think it’s going to be good for us - all the statistics and analytics they can bring into the game.
Are you a stat follower or advanced metrics or anything like that?
Not personally. It’s growing on me a little bit just because of the organization I’m in but I’ve never been the type to look at things like that. It is pretty cool to see the numbers from all of the stuff they get, all the numbers they get from our play. It is pretty impressive.
You played spring training which was obviously a great experience but I have to imagine playing in Anaheim and LA was something special. What went through your head at those stadiums. That was the first time you’ve ever played games there, right?
Yes, Yes. It was fun playing with those types of players, but the biggest thing I couldn’t hear myself think or talk. It was just crazy with all the fans we had at the games. I would try to talk to myself, just play around and I couldn’t even hear myself talk. Just at this same tone were speaking to each other right now I couldn’t even hear myself. That’s how loud the stadium was. It was crazy.
I’ve often wondered about that because the stadiums get so loud I’m not sure how you guys hear each other on the field sometimes.
Yeah it was kinda hard to focus. To just keep your mind in the game with everyone screaming and yelling around you but it was fun. It was a great experience.
Have you had a lot of interactions with Billy Eppler and what have those been like if so?
Just a lot of handshakes and how you doing. Things like that. Nothing in depth. But he’s a great dude. Knows what he’s doing. He got us moving in the right direction and we follow him. We all love what he’s doing.
It’s exciting to see all the talent he’s built up, especially in the outfield.
Yeah, we got a, we got a lot of people coming up that have a really bright future.
So I have some more fun questions coming up here. You have a sister Erin, who I think you’ve said is the athlete of the family. Were you guys pretty competitive growing up?
Very competitive (laughs). Funny you ask. She’s come to all my football practices and she’d race all the players and she’d beat us all. So it was funny. Well, it wasn’t fun knowing your sister was faster than you and all your friends. But it was pretty cool though having her as a sister growing up
I think that kind of competitiveness runs in the family.
Yeah it’s fun but not fun at the same time. Kind of embarrassing (laughs) but you know.
You spent a lot of time at Inland Empire. A lot of people who read our site are from that area. Do you have any tips on where to go around the stadium. Did you get out much when you were there?
I actually did not. I stayed out of that scene. I just, well by the time I was done at the complex. Done at the field. I had to pick up any type of food that open and I would just head back to the room. I play a lot of fortnight. Big Fortnite guy by the way.
Oh you’ve already stolen a couple of my next questions. Let’s jump in to Fortnite. Are you still a big Fortnite player?
Huge Fortnite player. It’s all I do in my free time.
I was going to ask you what you do in your free time.
Yeah, anything that has to do with off the field, Fortnite is the answer.
Did you try any of the other games other than Fortnite or just jumped right in and loved it?
I jumped right into Fortnite and loved it but a new game came out called Apex Legends and I played two games and I deleted the application because I think it’s terrible. I think it’s just a little run off of Fortnite. Nothing compares to Fortnite in my opinion.
I’m about to do a preview of the BayBears. I just posted the Salt Lake Bees one today. I know you’ve only really been there a day but is there anything you think I should include in there about the team or people that are there?
Ah, yeah I got one thing to say. Zach Houchins. Have you heard of him?
Absolutely. Yeah. he’s gonna have 25 homers this year. I can feel it coming.
Alright I’ve gonna put that in print.
Anything else you want to add about the BayBears? The coaching staff?
We got a new manager this year. He’s new to managing. He was our infield coordinator before. He’s brought a lot of character, a lot of tenacity to the team and I think it’s going to play well with the players that are playing behind him. Our hitting coach Matt Spring. Great dude, great hitting coach. Has great relationships with all of us and he works well with all of us and I think that will help this year. And our outfield coach, Dylan Mazzo. He’s just like Matt Spring but on the defense side. Great relationships with all of us. We get a lot of great work done together. It’s going to be a great year.
Good, I’m excited to watch you guys play too. Obviously we watch the Angels all time but when they are on a down streak it’s fun to watch the minor league games too.
Yeah. The little guys.
Absolutely, I subscribe to minor league baseball TV to watch those games sometimes too.
I have one last question. Five Guys or In n Out. Which do you prefer and why?
Five Guys 100 percent. In n out. I was a big fan when I first came to Arizona only because I had never had it. It was hyped up pretty well. But I’ve had it one too many times. Five Guys is the way to go. I know its’ a little bit more expensive but it’s just better quality in my opinion.
That’s fair. Any of your roommates there, I thought there’d maybe be a little debate like there is in the Angels clubhouse about which one is better.
No, that will be a good one though. For sure.
You’re on the side of Cam Bedrosian, and not sure who else over there.
(laughs) Bedrosian, he’s a Georgia boy so that makes sense we’re on the same side.
Okay, that’s all I had. I really appreciate your time.
Oh no, thank you. You were right on the dot at 20 minutes, you were right.
I’m actually surprised yea.
Alright well, good luck this year, thanks for your time and have a great season!
Thank you, thank you for having me. Any time.