Marshall Aims To Keep Up Momentum For D-backs

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.—Evan Marshall took the ride of his life last year, going from the bullpen at Kansas State to closing the championship game of the Double-A Southern League playoffs for Mobile. It got even better when he was engaged to be married over the winter.

"It was a very fun and exciting time. It was a heck of a start to pro ball," said Marshall, a righthander taken in the fourth round of the 2011 draft after going 5-5, 1.62 with one save in 30 relief appearances for Kansas State last spring.

Marshall, 21, ran through short-season Yakima and high Class A Visalia before landing in Mobile's bullpen when a spot opened up at the end of the season. He went 0-1, 1.16 with 31 strikeouts and seven walks in 31 combined innings in the regular season before throwing five scoreless innings in the postseason, converting both of the BayBears' save opportunities.

The 6-foot-2, 219-pound Marshall works off a two-seam fastball and a spike curve, a combination hitters had a hard time centering. The Diamondbacks have seen Marshall hit 94-95 mph with his two-seamer, and his curveball registers in the mid-80s.

"It's a hard, late sinker. And then it is a real hard curveball," farm director Mike Bell said. "He's worked on a changeup in instructional league and showed that he had a good feel for that, too. He wasn't scared. He wanted the ball. He wanted it in big situations. He never flinched."

Marshall started briefly for Kansas State before moving to the bullpen, where he was an all-Big 12 Conference second-team selection as a sophomore. His 85 appearances are second in school history.

"The coaches saw what they needed to see and put me back in the bullpen. I guess I should say thank you," said Marshall, a non-roster invitee to major league spring training.

"I've embraced the role. I like the intensity and the adrenaline rush at the back end of the games. It's been a lot of fun."

Snake Bites

• Top pitching prospects Tyler Skaggs, Patrick Corbin, Charles Brewer and Kevin Munson joined Marshall as non-roster invitees to major league spring training. Outfielder Adam Eaton also was in camp as a non-roster invitee.

• The Diamondbacks signed outfielder Archie Gilbert. Gilbert, 28, hit .313/.382/.491 with Double-A Harrisburg in the Nationals system last season.