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Cal notes: Marder more than versatile

Mavs utility man hitting consistently while expanding his role
August 1, 2012
High Desert's Jack Marder has put together a strong season in his second try at the Class A Advanced level in the Seattle organization. The native of Calabasas, Calif., is hitting .377 with nine homers and has displayed good plate discipline with 19 walks and 33 strikeouts in 231 at-bats.

Marder, selected by the Mariners in the 16th round of the 2011 Draft and sent straight to the Cal League, has batted in the first three spots in the Mavericks order this season and shown some speed with 15 stolen bases. Listed as a catcher on the organizational depth chart, he's expanded his versatility over the last month and seen time at second base and left field.

"I played second and shortstop in high school," he said. "After my freshman summer [at Oregon], I worked the entire offseason on catching. I came back to school in the fall and tried [catching] because it was a way to get me a spot on the field."

The Oregon baseball program was reborn in 2009 after 27 years without a varsity team, and the school fielded a winning club the next season for the first time since 1979. Marder, who signed with Seattle after his sophomore year, was a key part of the Ducks success and praised his college coaches for working with him every day to help him learn how to catch.

The No. 15 prospect in the Seattle organization, Marder has hit well all season and is especially hot of late, batting .418 in 20 games since the All-Star break. He missed almost all of June with an injury but has returned strong.

"My goal this year was to conquer the mental side of the game, like getting over errors and bad at-bats," he said.

The Marder family has produced more than one elite athlete. Jack's older sister, Sam, was a three-time All-American in softball at Ohio State and plays professional softball. She's currently an assistant coach at Boise State and has coached both at Ohio State and Oregon.

The siblings have had a lifelong rivalry on and off the field, including an ill-fated Rose Bowl for Jack.

"Ohio State [beat] Oregon in the Rose Bowl a couple years ago -- that wasn't good for me," he said.

In brief

Nice rebound: Lancaster righty David Martinez pitched seven shutout innings July 25, allowing seven hits with four strikeouts. It was his second strong outing in a row. He earned the win with six scoreless frames out of the bullpen on July 20. Martinez has recovered from a disastrous stretch in which he allowed 19 runs over 25 innings. He has 46 strikeouts and nine walks over his last 62 1/3 innings.

Charlie in charge: Rancho Cucamonga shortstop Charlie Mirabal returned to the lineup July 24 and is 7-for-17 with three RBIs after missing a month with a calf strain. He picked up three hits, including a double and a triple, against Inland Empire on July 26 and followed that up with a two-hit performance the next day.

New meat: Visalia's Ender Inciarte is on fire since coming up from Class A South Bend. The 21-year-old center fielder is hitting .324 with the Rawhide and has a .349 average over his last 10 games. He's on a five-game hitting streak and had three hits against Lancaster on Monday.

Chris Martinez is a contributor to