When Richard Justice of MLB.com came up with his list of 10 dark horse Cy Young candidates for 2018, he tabbed a member of the Colorado Rockies rotation as a possibility. While that may come as a surprise, it may be more of a surprise which pitcher was mentioned.
When you think of the Colorado rotation, Jon Gray’s name is often the first mentioned. However, it was another starter that caught Justice’s attention. German Marquez was the 10th name on Justice’s list, citing the evolution of Marquez on the mound and saying, “…his arm is so good that it’s easy to forecast special things.”
The soon-to-be 23-year-old right-hander led the Rockies in starts (29), innings pitched (162) and strikeouts (147). He also tied for the team lead in wins with 11. Quite a jump for someone who saw action in just six games in 2016.
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There is no question that Marquez took a huge leap forward last season and was one of the cornerstones of a Rockies rotation that was paced by rookies when Jon Gray and Chad Bettis both missed significant time with injuries. There is also no question that the Rockies are hoping that Marquez continues his evolution in 2018. Could that include Cy Young discussion? It would be a good sign for the Rockies to have one of their young hurlers mentioned in the same breath as Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer and other National League perennial favorites for the coveted award. It would not only mean that Marquez had a solid season but also that Colorado pitchers were finally getting some of the national recognition they deserve.
In this interesting article on Purple Row, new metrics were used to measure the effectiveness of Colorado’s rotation members from 2017. Marquez topped one of the three metrics measured, ranking in the highest stamina among last year’s Rockies starters.
There is plenty of room for improvement for Marquez, who flashed a 4-1 mark and 2.64 ERA in five May starts, including spreading just three hits over eight innings in a May 10 win over the Chicago Cubs at Coors Field. Justice mentions his fastball that averaged over 95 miles per hour last season. If Marquez can harness his curveball and use it on a consistent basis, it will bode well for Colorado.