TUCUPITA MARCANO, SHORTSTOP
|Born: September 16, 1999
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2016, Padres
How Acquired: Trade (from Padres)
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Marcano profiles as a utility infielder. His strength is making contact; he’s had easily more walks than strikeouts in the minors. He’s also good at bunting for hits. He’s very thin, though, and isn’t likely ever to have any power. He runs well, but hasn’t shown much feel for running the bases. He’s a solid defender at second, but scouts don’t consider him especially good at short. He’s also played third and the outfield corners, where he’ll be a liability due to his bat. The Pirates acquired Marcano from San Diego in the Adam Frazier trade.
Marcano played mostly second in his debut season. He had only four errors in 41 starts. He didn’t hit the ball with any authority, but drew a lot of walks and didn’t strike out much.
The Padres sent Marcano to rookie ball in the US and he hit for an extremely high average with outstanding plate discipline. He still didn’t show any power. He hit well after a late-season promotion to the Northwest League. Marcano split his time between second and short. Baseball America ranked him 27th in a deep Padres system after the season.
In low A, Marcano’s hitting dropped off. His walk rate dropped sharply, probably because the lack of power made pitchers comfortable throwing him strikes. He attempted to steal a lot with a very bad success rate. The Padres employed him more or less equally at second, third and short. Baseball America ranked him 18th in the system.
Marcano didn’t play during the pandemic season, but San Diego added him to the 40-man roster afterward. BA moved him up to eighth in the system, probably due to the Padres graduating and trading a lot of prospects.
Due to injuries, Marcano made the Padres’ roster to start the season and was up and down several times. Between AAA and the majors, he played second, third, short and the outfield corners. He hit very little in the majors. The AAA numbers look fairly good, but Marcano compiled them with El Paso, which is an extreme hitting environment, as his home park. His OPS was 350 points higher at home than on the road. The Padres traded him in late July.
Marcano was evidently the main return for Adam Frazier, which makes the return seem extremely light. He figures to be a utility player, which feeds into the Pirates’ tendency to overvalue versatility wildly. Especially ominous is the fact that Marcano played some in the outfield corners in 2021; the Pirates have routinely hamstrung their offense by playing weak-hitting utility infielders in the outfield. It’ll be interesting to see whether Marcano’s acquisition encourages the Pirates to abandon their bizarre obsession with Erik Gonzalez. They haven’t hesitated, though, to carry two or three utility infielders on their chronically short bench.
|2021: Major league minimum|
|Signing Bonus: $320,000
MiLB Debut: 2017
MLB Debut: 4/1/2021
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2027
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 11/20/2020
Options Remaining: 2 (USED: 2021)
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|July 2, 2016: Signed by the San Diego Padres as an international free agent.
November 20, 2020: Contract purchased by the San Diego Padres.
July 25, 2021: Traded by the San Diego Padres with Jack Suwinski and Michell Miliano to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Adam Frazier and cash.