The last time Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach pitching coach Brian Lawrence saw Brailyn Marquez, the left-hander wasn't hitting 100 mph on the radar gun. A lot changed in a year. After carving up upposing lineups in the Midwest League for the past four months, the Cubs No. 4 prospect
The last time Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach pitching coach Brian Lawrence saw Brailyn Marquez, the left-hander wasn't hitting 100 mph on the radar gun. A lot changed in a year. After carving up upposing lineups in the Midwest League for the past four months, the Cubs No. 4 prospect was promoted to the Pelicans. He kept that momentum going in his Carolina League debut.
Marquez fired five hitless innings, striking out four and walking three, as Myrtle Beach romped past Winston-Salem, 10-1, on Tuesday at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Park. In his last three starts, the southpaw has allowed one hit over 17 innings.
Marquez (1-0) was highly efficient in the first inning, needing only 13 pitches to retire the side. After seventh-ranked White Sox prospectSteele Walker flew out, he caught Mitch Roman looking and Andrew Vaughn swinging.
The 20-year-old threw one less pitch in the second. He induced Craig Dedelow to fly out. Marquez set down Carlos Perez on six pitches and Johan Cruz on three strikes, with the last one topping out at 100 mph, according to the stadium radar gun.
"Obviously you hear how he's (Marquez) been doing... and he's been pitching really well," Lawrence said. "We are excited. He got here and did a really good job. He was throwing strikes. He's been locked in and ready to go."
The Dominican Republic native walked Tate Blackman and Steele and threw a wild pitch in the third, but Roman flied out to end the threat. Marquez walked leadoff batter Vaughn in the fourth, but pitched to contact to retire the side.
After a fielding error by second baseman Carlos Sepulveda in the fifth, the 6-foot-4, 185-pound lefty induced JJ Muno to fly out on his first offering of the at-bat and Yeyson Yrizarri grounded to end the debut that extended his scoreless streak to 17 innings.
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"I don't know if he's thinking about it or not... I'm sure he's trying to go out there and pitch," said Lawrence, in his sixth season as a coach in the Cubs' system. "Sometimes when you look at the scoreboard, you get into trouble. He might not even know if he has a streak. It will be fun to see with some side sessions and gameplans for the end of August and the season."
Marquez, a midseason All-Star with Class A South Bend, threw 79 pitches -- 50 for strikes Tuesday. His coach said the quality of the lefty's pitches was strong and he was able to keep his pitch count down.
"Early in games, he is averaging right around 100 [mph]," Lawrence said. "I think the humidity got him a little bit in the end. But he got through it. The big thing for me is that he was throwing strikes. He wasn't throwing 25 pitches an inning, struggling and getting to 3-2 counts."
The former Major Leaguer said Marquez relied heavily on his fastball to get through the outing.
"He didn't have his best slider or changeup," Lawrence said. "But that gives him room to improve in his next start. He's constantly working."
The coach expects his southpaw to stay around the same pitch count for the rest of the season.
"I think we will be OK," he said. "I know he had some early outings this season. Right now, he's full go."
Before his promotion, Marquez recorded a 5-4 mark with a 3.61 ERA with 102 whiffs and 43 walks over 77 1/3 innings.
Current South Bend pitching coach Jamie Vermilyea saw a lot of evidence of Marquez's high heat during the starter's 14-strikeout performance against West Michigan on July 31.
"He's got overpowering stuff ... when you have a left-handed pitcher throwing 100 and he has an idea of where it's going... he has a couple secondary pitches that he can command," Vermilyea told MiLB.com. "You don't expect it, but you're definitely not surprised when you see it happen."
Lawrence served as Class A South Bend's pitching coach prior to Vermilyea, and Marquez made a few starts for him at the end of the 2018 season.
"He was pretty nervous," the coach recalled. "The quality of pitches this year are much better and actually his velocity too. It's that part of the season where you start getting tired. He wasn't throwing 100 for me last year."
Aramis Ademan, Chicago's eighth-ranked prospect, went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, two runs scored and his 14th stolen base. Delvin Zinn doubled twice, singled, plated three runs and scored three times.
Dan Stokes is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByDanStokes.