Starting today and running throughout spring training I’ll be running down my list of the top 30 Rays prospects, with the occasional weekend interlude. Check back daily to get caught up on the system with a new capsule each day.
Parkel Markel, RHP | 6-4/220
39th round, 2010 draft (Yavapai JC)
What happened in 2012? Markel made his full-season debut with Bowling Green after turning heads with his stuff at Hudson Valley in 2011. With the Renegades, his scouting report — fastball that touched 97 mph and the makings of a plus slider — outpaced his numbers — just 44 strikeouts in 57.1 innings. He didn’t exactly break out with the Hot Rods in 2012, but he improved his K/BB from 1.91 to 2.82. The issue I’d take with that is that he did it on the strength of improved control: he cut his walk rate from from 9.9% to 6.6%, his strikeout rate held steady near 19%. It’s not bad, but it’s also not anything that blows you away. It certainly doesn’t portend the elite stuff he was flashing on the New York-Penn League the summer before.
What needs to happen in 2013? He needs to just blow guys away. This means showing he can maintain top-shelf stuff deep into starts and hold it on a game-to-game basis. He closed strong with Bowling Green, but the strikeout numbers still weren’t quite there. Further refinement of his change-up is also a key, otherwise his future may more clearly point to a bullpen role. Combine those things with with the sort of control he demonstrated in 2012 and this #30 ranking will look silly.