TAMPA--After the first game during day one at East Coast Pro saw its share of walks and pitches out of the zone, Destrehan (La.) High righthander Landon Marceaux took the mound for the Marlins team and cruised.
The 6-foot, 180-pound righthander is far from the most physically imposing pitcher here at the showcase, but through the first two games at the George M. Steinbrenner Field, he’s been the most impressive.
The Louisiana State commit threw four, one-hit innings and needed just 38 pitches to do it. The sole hit that Marceaux allowed was a high infield chopper for a single up the middle, off the bat of Georgia shortstop Isaiah Byars. Marceaux faced 13 batters and struck out six while using a potent four-pitch mix.
He used both a four-seam and two-seam fastball--the former as more of a punchout pitch up in the zone, and the latter as a setup pitch to both sides of the plate, with sink and run--as well as a 12-to-6 curveball and a circle change.
Landon Marceaux strikes out Will Banfield with a 92 mph fastball on the outside corner. Just one hit (infield single) through 4 IP: pic.twitter.com/zoTC2sFjgj
-- Carlos Collazo (@CarlosACollazo) August 1, 2017
“(My) two-seam was hitting the corners,” Marceaux said. “Four-seam I located well up in the zone. Breaking ball I could locate in the zone and in the dirt. And changeup was really good today.”
Marceaux has been throwing the change since he was 14 years old, and he said it’s a pitch he’s always felt comfortable with. Comfortable enough to throw it--along with his other three pitches--in any count, or any situation.
After throwing fastballs to each hitter in the first inning, Marceaux started the second against Georgia first baseman Lawrence Butler with an 81 mph changeup. The pitch caught Butler off guard, and he popped up an infield fly to shortstop. The next batter was Georgia outfielder David Hollie, who saw a 75 mph curve down in the zone on the first pitch, following by a 90 mph two-seam fastball running in on the hands that he swung at and missed. After getting another swing-and-miss on a 91 mph fastball up in the zone, Marceaux went to his sharp, 12-to-6 curve for strike three looking.
“I noticed after the first and second inning they were sitting on my fastball away,” Marceaux said. “(They) started taking (the ball) the other way so I had to change it up. Breaking ball, changeup, fastball in. I had to change it up a little bit.”
Marceaux’s command with each of his pitches is what allows him to be so successful on a regular basis--but he’s not a “pitchability” guy, per se. He touched 94 mph to strike out Georgia catcher Anthony Seigler in the second inning, and one American League scout said Marceaux’s curve is average to above-average currently. His changeup flashed plus at times Tuesday as well.
He threw the changeup six times throughout his outing, using it to induce two flyouts, three swings and misses--including back-to-back strikeouts of Cabera Weaver and Parker Meadows as the pitch faded low and away to his arm side--and one called strike low in the zone to his glove side.
Marceaux’s fastball was mostly 89-92, although it touched 94 once as mentioned above. His downer curve was 74-76 and his change sat in the low 80s. Additionally, Marceaux could be pegged with present 50, major league-average command, extremely rare for a prep high school pitcher to have.
“I tried to treat it like a normal game,” he said. “I know it's a showcase, but I tried to treat it like a normal game, that bulldog mentality that I have--just try and attack hitters, I don't care who it was.”