Marquez has an 91-98 mph FASTBALL, has crisp rotation on his CURVEBALL with tight spin and off-the-table depth, and a CHANGEUP that shows good promise. He has feel for it, putting it low and on either side of the plate.
He now has good command. German's tight curve plays well in the mile-high Coors Field altitude. (Spring, 2017)
2016 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 59.5% of the time; Sinker 3.2% of the time; Change 8.9%; and Curve 28.5% of the time. Marquez was named MLB Pipeline Rockies prospect Pitcher of the Year. And German finished 2016 contributing to the Major League team.
2017 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 56.8% of the time; Sinker 8.3% of the time; Change 5.4%; Slider .5%; Curve 25.2%: and Cutter 3.7% of the time.
2018 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 46.1% of the time; Sinker 8.8%; Change 6.5%; Slider 18.7%; and Curve 19.8% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 95.9 mph, Sinker 94.6, Change 86.3, Slider 85.8, and Curve 82.2 mph.
2019 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 40.8% of the time; Sinker 11.4; Change 3.4%; Slider 22.3%; and Curve 22.2% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 95.8 mph, Sinker 94.6, Change 88.2, Slider 87.4, and Curve 84.9 mph.
2020 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 38.2% of the time; Sinker 14.2; Change 5.6%; Slider 17.5%; and Curve 24.6% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 96.2 mph, Sinker 94.9, Change 87, Slider 88.2, and Curve 85.7 mph.
German pounds the lower part of the strike zone with above-average control, and can overpower hitters with his heater. His fastball tends to jump out of his hand and possesses late life. His quick arm and wrist also generate a sharp, above-average curveball, and he shows good feel for a changeup.
Marquez has a balanced deliver that provide excellent control most outings. His is a clean, repeatable, short-to-long arm action. He has an easy arm action with clean polished mechanics. Mature for his age, Marquez needs to fine-tune his command in the strike zone, though he does a good job of working the lower half of the zone. Marquez profiles as a back-end starter.
“This isn’t just some throw-in prospect,” Rockies farm director Zach Wilson said in 2016. “This is a dude with front-of-the-rotation stuff and a front-of-the-rotation mindset.”
Noting that Marquez can still register 95 mph in the 8th inning of a start, Wilson said, "That's a credit to the looseness of his arm, the fluidity of his arm action with his delivery and his ability to keep his legs underneath him for seven, eight innings.”
German also has learned to land his curveball for strikes, using it on consecutive pitches this year at times and dropping it on the back foot of a lefthanded hitter. His changeup also was a point of emphasis during the 2016 season.
“It used to be a changeup where he would slow his arm down, and he would push it,” Wilson said. “We’ve been very much focused on that, and that’s come a long way.
“He’s certainly made some big strides from when we acquired him to now, especially with his delivery,” Wilson said. “He’s staying on line and staying taller on the back side. That started right when we got him . . . and it’s continued since.” (Jack Etkin - Baseball America - 9/02/2016)
2018 Improvements: Marquez lives in San Felix, Venezuela, about a five-hour drive from the nearest Venezuelan Winter League team. So his 2017 rookie year—an 11-7 record with a 4.39 ERA to earn a spot on the Topps MLB All-Star Rookie Team—has made him an unquestioned local celeb.
"Yeah, I have a big following and a lot of people want to congratulate me," Marquez said, with his agent, Daniel Szew, interpreting when necessary. "That's wonderful."
And Marquez is working on new tricks to make more news in 2018. Acquired as part of the deal that sent outfielder Corey Dickerson to the Rays before the 2016 season, Marquez provided power and strike-zone efficiency for a young Rockies rotation that fueled a berth in the NL Wild Card game. Marquez finished with 147 strikeouts (eight or more in seven of his 29 starts) against 49 walks (no more than three in any start) over 162 innings.
Already possessing a power fastball—one he leaned on for 51 percent of his 2,673 pitches in 2017 (31st highest in the Majors in terms of frequency)—and an effective curve, Marquez learned a slider from pitching coach Steve Foster and bullpen coach Darren Holmes during Spring Training. He was such a quick learner that he used it 33 times with two strikes, earning six strikeouts and giving up just one hit.
In 2018, hitters will no doubt look for Marquez to challenge with the fastball and curve. However, Marquez hopes his four-seam changeup becomes a bigger weapon. Statcast™ showed him using it just 18 times, but he yielded no hits and forced four ground-ball outs. The only baserunner came on a walk.
"I worked on it most of the season, and I didn't quite get it to where I wanted," Marquez said. "I really want to perfect it before I add it to my repertoire for next season." (Thomas Harding-MLB.com-Nov.29, 2017)
August 8, 2018: Marquez pitched an immaculate inning. He accomplished three straight strikeouts—on three pitches each—in a 4-3 loss to the Pirates.
Marquez was down, 3-0, at the time. He fanned the top of the Pirates' order—Corey Dickerson, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco—all on curveballs. Marquez became the second pitcher in Rockies history, and first at Coors Field, to accomplish the feat. Lefty reliever Rex Brothers did it on June 14, 2014 in San Francisco, against Michael Morse, Brandon Crawford and Gregor Blanco. (Thomas Harding - MLB.com)
September 26, 2018: Marquez tied a modern Major League record by fanning the first eight Phillies he faced. He matched the Astros' Jim Deshaies (Sept. 23, 1986) and the Mets' Jacob deGrom (Sept. 15, 2014).
The modern era is since 1900. Before then, Mickey Welch, pitching for the 1884 New York Gothams, started a game with nine strikeouts.
Through four innings, Marquez had 10 strikeouts, raising his season total to 230, which surpassed Ubaldo Jimenez's club record of 214, set in 2010.
April 14, 2019: The first complete game in the big leagues in 2019 was very close to being much more. As it was, German settled for one-hit, nine-strikeout domination of San Francisco as the Rockies ended an eight-game losing streak with a 4-0 win over the Giants.
The no-hit effort came to an end one out into the eighth inning when Marquez’s 0-2 slider wasn’t quite low enough and was slapped by Evan Longoria past third baseman Nolan Arenado for a single. Longoria was the second and last Giant to reach base. Marquez hit Kevin Pillar with a pitch to open the sixth after having retired the first 15 men he faced.
“I wanted [the no-hitter] for him so bad,” Rockies catcher Tony Wolters said. “At some point, he’s going to do a no-hitter, a perfect game. He’s got the stuff. He’s such a competitor, and he’s so selfless. After the hit, all he wanted to do was to get us the win.”
Marquez is now the owner of the only complete-game one-hit shutout in Rockies history. There has only been one no-hitter for Colorado, thrown almost nine years ago to the day by Ubaldo Jimenez in Atlanta. Today's game from Marquez qualifies as one of the best starts in Rockies history. (Hickey - mlb.com - 4/14/19)
July 2020: Rockies manager Bud Black announced that Márquez will start the season opener at Texas at 6:05 p.m. MT (AT&T SportsNet). It’s the first season opener for Marquez, who is coming off a solid 2019 and hopes to establish himself as one of the top pitchers in the National League.
“It’s a goal that I set the first time when I got to the big leagues – I have to do Opening Day, I have to go to the All-Star Game, win a Cy Young,” Márquez said. “So that’s one of my goals. It’s pretty amazing how I feel.”
In 2019, Márquez went into the season on a newly minted $43 million deal and pitched his heart out. At the time he went on the IL for the rest of the season, he had made the most starts in baseball. In a pandemic-shortened season, he again led all of baseball with 13 games started. He led the National League in innings pitched and faced more hitters than anyone else in baseball. The man went out to earn his money.
There’s no question that Germán has earned his money the past two years by a volume perspective. How we evaluate his performance is a matter of perspective. From 2018 to 2019, Márquez’s strikeout rate went down (10.56 to 9.06 K/9) but so did his walk rate (2.62 to 1.81 BB/9). His inflated ERA reflects a certain amount of bad luck: a career high home run rate (1.50 HR/9) and career low strand rate. All in all, Márquez had a rougher year than in the past, but still performed well enough.
So how was 2020 different for Germán? Well, his strikeout rate was the lowest and his walk rate was the highest of his career. So naturally he posted the lowest ERA of his career. The answer to this enigma is contact.
Germán has managed to raise his groundball rate each of his four full seasons, to the point where he now qualifies as a groundball pitcher by average launch angle.
But not only are his groundballs up, but his hard contact is down as well. Baseball Savants defines a “barrel” as a batted ball with the perfect combination of exit velocity and launch angle—essentially, exactly what a pitcher doesn’t want. Márquez was in the top quartile of MLB pitchers in limiting barrels (4.9%).
Combine the increased groundballs with the lack of quality contact and you get the big difference: a 9.4% home run per fly ball rate. Keeping the ball in the yard, you might suspect, is good for a pitcher. It’s especially good if you pitch half your games in Coors Field.
The question becomes how much of this change is sustainable. Thirteen starts is a small sample size, so it’s hard to know if that level of limiting his contact can be sustained over a full season. Some of the improvements can be tracked to his pitch usage: he’s relying on his four-seamer less and less, so the weak contact looks to continue. But we’ll have to see what happens when the fatigue of a full season kicks in. One thing we can be sure of: Germán Márquez will keep putting in the work. (Adam Peterson@playerTBNL - Nov 3, 2020)
In 2020, German's best pitch was his curveball. As has been the case for the last few seasons, the most valuable arm in the Mile High City last year was that of Germán Márquez. Speaking of value, Márquez’s 2020 curveball logged its second highest pVAL of his career (8.7). The pitch produced an incredible 43.9% whiff rate and held hitters to a .110 AVG thanks in part to the highest curve spin rate the pitch has seen since 2016. Even more impressive is the .176 xwOBA on the pitch since 2018. That number is casually the lowest in baseball on a specific pitch. (Shawn Barletta - March 30, 2021)
June 6, 2021: Marquez, Colorado’s ace, is a different pitcher from the one that opened the season. After a disastrous May outing, he has a 1.89 ERA over six starts since.
“We recognized a number of starts ago that the tempo through his windup was a little fast and then sometimes a little slow,” manager Bud Black said. “We put a stopwatch on it, and it got to the point where he was hurried or it was slow.
“In bullpen sessions we really worked on him getting a consistent tempo from the time he made his first move to the time he released the ball, both out of the windup and in the stretch. I think that had a big impact.”
It appears that the hard work is paying off. Márquez’s early-season struggles weren’t manifesting in the quality of contact against him. According to Statcast, opponents’ hard-hit rate against him through the May 4 outing was 37.1%, and in the six starts since, it’s 36.1%.
The issue early on was that Márquez was getting into too many deep counts, which drove up his pitch count during early-season outings and made him less effective. Straightening out the tempo has remedied that.
“I think it helped his ball-strike ratio and his control and command,” Black said. “This afternoon, a really good breaking ball. The A’s are a team that doesn’t chase a lot. But he was in the strike zone a lot, I thought, with his breaking ball and his fastball. He mixed in his changeup just to keep them honest. But I think it’s more about the consistent delivery, both in his windup and [out of] the stretch.” (M Randhawa- MLB.com - June 6, 2021)
- 2021 Season: Marquez had a very strong season, making 32 starts while going 11-10 with a 4.40 ERA and team-best 3.64 xFIP. His 3.4 fWAR also ranked second among Rockies pitchers with at least 40 innings. He was reliable and also avoided fly balls by inducing ground balls at a team-high 51.6 percent clip. The righthander has been this rotation’s most evident bright spot over the last couple of seasons. (Andersen Pickard - October 17, 2021)
- German started the 2021 season with a career record of 42-30 and a 4.24 ERA, having given up 86 home runs and 633 hits in 634 innings.