When it comes to starting pitchers around the National League, Germán Márquez of the Colorado Rockies has been slowly creeping into the conversation of who belongs in the upper tiers of that group. Now, former Rockies reliever Adam Ottavino is singing the praises of his former teammate and his skills on the mound.
Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Germán Márquez earned praise from former teammate Adam Ottavino for his pitching skills
In a recent podcast featured on FanGraphs, Ottavino appeared on the show to talk about a number of topics, including the art of the slider. Of course, Colorado Rockies fans are well aware of Ottavino’s wipeout slider, watching him throw it as a member of the team between 2012 and 2018 while fashioning a 3.41 ERA, 3.42 FIP, and 1.257 WHIP.
While discussing some of the best sliders in the game, Ottavino made special mention of Márquez and his ability to throw a quality slider and curveball, and mix speeds when he throws them.
"“Another guy who I think has an unbelievable breaking ball is Germán Márquez, who I played with in Colorado,” Ottavino said as part of the podcast. “He has a curveball and a slider. He has an ability to throw both — throw them slower, throw them harder, [have] more downward break, [have] more lateral break. He’s someone… especially doing it at altitude. He’s got a gift for spinning the ball.”"
According to Baseball Savant, Márquez threw his slider more in 2021 (26.9 percent of the time) than at any other time in his career, which began with his MLB debut on September 8, 2016. His curveball usage, however, was the lowest of his career, appearing just 18.2 percent of the time.
Márquez still relies on his fastball, which he threw 45.4 percent of the time last season, the third straight season where that number has risen.
While Márquez may not throw his curveball as often, when he does, it has shown to be a force for the right-hander. Last season, batters slashed just .144/.148/.203 against the curve, following a 2020 season where the numbers were .108/.122/.151.
Marquez has seen an evolution in his curveball during his maturation as a pitcher, as you can read about here.