- Full name Marcus Andrew Semien
- Born 09/17/1990 in San Francisco, CA
- Profile Ht.: 6'0" / Wt.: 195 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School California
- Debut 09/04/2013
Drafted in the 6th round (201st overall) by the Chicago White Sox in 2011 (signed for $130,000).
View Draft ReportSemien is a steady defender with sure hands and some arm strength, though he may lack the first-step quickness to stay at shortstop. He's an average runner. He hit well last year and in the Northwoods League last summer, but scouts have questions about his bat. He didn't do anything to quell doubters this year, hitting .260/.357/.380.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Semien's father Eric played football at California, and Marcus followed him to the school and helped the Bears on a Cinderella 2010 College World Series run. He fell to the sixth round after a mediocre junior season in 2011 but hasn't stopped hitting as a pro, reaching the major leagues in 2013 with a two-hit game at Yankee Stadium in September. Semien is an average athlete who can make the routine play at any infield position while being a productive hitter. He repeats his simple swing with good strength and bat speed, and he's disciplined enough to get himself into hitter's counts. Semien's power is more to the gaps, and scouts don't expect him to repeat his 21-homer 2013 campaign. Still, he can punish mistakes and is a smart basestealer whose average speed will play. He has played mostly shortstop in the minors and can fill in there at the big league level, and he has solid infield actions. He fits better at second base or third long term due to modest arm strength and fair first-step quickness. His offensive showing as a pro has pushed Semien beyond his original utility profile. He could push for playing time in Chicago at second, short or third in 2014, and he fits best at third long-term alongside Tim Anderson and Micah Johnson in a future White Sox infield.
The son of former California wide receiver Eric Semien, Marcus was a three-sport standout in high school who followed his father's footsteps to Berkeley, where he focused on baseball. The White Sox drafted him in the 34th round out of high school but didn't land him until 2011, when they took him in the sixth round and gave him a $130,000 bonus. He was more highly regarded as a fielder than a hitter in college, but Chicago projected he would make major strides at the plate as a pro--and he did in his first full season. Semien shook off shoulder tendinitis in the first half to bat .290/.392/.514 after the all-star break. He opened his stance slightly last year, allowing him to barrel more pitches. Some scouts are still skeptical about his bat, questioning his strength and whether he'll get on base enough to bat anywhere but the bottom of a lineup. Semien has average speed but isn't a basestealing threat. He has solid arm strength and reliable hands, though his range is average and may push him to second base down the road. How Semien performs in Double-A in 2013 will shed light as to whether he eventually can become a big league regular or will top out as a utility type.
Minor League Top Prospects
White Sox area scout Adam Virchis had a career-defining draft in 2011 when he recommended Erik Johnson in the second round and Semien in the sixth, getting both Cal Bears to the big leagues two years later. Both players figure to play important roles in Chicago?s rebuild. Semien showed the best strike-zone judgment in the SL, according to managers, and it shows in his performance. He led the league in on-base percentage, ranked second in slugging and walks and third in the batting race. He kept hitting following a promotion to Triple-A Charlotte and led the minors with 110 runs scored, narrowly edging Minor League Player of the Year Byron Buxton. Though his ultimate position remains up in the air, Semien has convinced scouts he can be a big league contributor with the bat. With quick hands and wrists, he whips the bat through the zone to produce line drives in abundance. He makes adjustments to his swing within at-bats, making him a serious on-base threat, though his flat-plane swing scales his home-run potential to below-average. He?s an average runner who relies more on instincts than explosiveness to steal the occasional base. Semien logged 73 games at shortstop in the minors this season, though scouts give him no chance to stick there on a regular basis because of inconsistent reads and actions. His average arm and quick release will play at either second or third base, where the White Sox auditioned him during a September callup.
Top 100 Rankings
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Strike-Zone Discipline in the Chicago White Sox in 2014