Eric Marzec, a two-way star for Youngstown State University, was the Brewers' 30th-round draft pick this year as a right-handed pitcher. I spoke with him on Thursday night.
BF: Congratulations on being drafted.
EM: Thank you, I appreciate it.
BF: Were you expecting it?
EM: Yeah, I was expecting to get drafted as a junior and had a hand injury that kinda left me out, so this year I was kinda waiting for a phone call.
BF: Did you know the Brewers in particular were interested in you?
EM: Yeah, I heard from most of the teams, and I had talked with the Brewers, so I didn't have any idea that they were the ones that were gonna take me, but I had heard from them, yeah.
BF: Did they call you beforehand, before they made the pick?
EM: The scout called me to congratulate me as it happened. I wasn't watching the draft, didn't wanna really pay attention to it, you know, being nerve-racking and that kind of stuff, so I just waited by my phone.
BF: So you said that you were hoping to get drafted after last year, but you broke your hand. You got hit by a pitch, right?
EM: Yeah, that's correct.
BF: You also had a couple other injuries. You got a pretty significant concussion this season and you also had a stress fracture in your hip when you were in high school. Sounds like you've had a pretty rough go of it, medically.
EM: Yeah, haven't been too fortunate on that side, but I'm still fortunate to be playing.
BF: Do you think that that's set you back developmentally?
EM: No, I think it's actually helped me develop because with each injury you learn stuff, going all the way back to my hip injury, being able to work. I think it's really built up my work ethic and helped me develop into the player I am today. But I'd say the injuries have probably hindered me a little as far as being seen, and that's why I went to a smaller school, and from there on the injuries kinda developed into questionable stuff with teams and scouts and that kind of stuff.
BF: So like you said, it's about getting your foot in the door, and now that you have your foot in the door, you're primed to let your talent shine through?
EM: Yeah, I have no question that I'm just as good if not better than all these guys I'm coming up against, and I look forward to being on the team with all these guys, my new teammates, and making my way through the system.
BF: So you've signed already?
EM: Yes. My agent and the scout here have worked up a contract, but he's coming up to Canton on Saturday so we can officially sign, but they already have a contract worked up. I fly out Monday and head to Arizona.
BF: Do you know whether you'll be staying in Arizona once the rookie leagues start up or whether you'll be going to Montana?
EM: I'll be in Montana eventually. They said I'll be in Arizona for at least a couple days, and from there they'll see, but he did say I'll be in Montana at some point.
BF: Have they talked to you about whether they're going to use you as a starter or a reliever?
EM: I haven't sat down with scout yet to talk about what their plans are for me. Being a dual player, all I know now is that I'll just be a right-handed pitcher. I look forward to just focusing on doing one thing, and that's another reason why I feel like I've got a lot of room to grow.
BF: You were an outfielder too, right? Decent hitter?
EM: Yeah, I was all right. I had some looks from teams as a position player, as well.
BF: Do you prefer one over the other?
EM: I mean, I love hitting, but I love the pitching side of it too. I see myself more as a pitcher, I guess--or I see myself succeeding more as a pitcher, anyway. I'm satisfied with the fact that they took me as a pitcher.
BF: Can you describe what you throw?
EM: I can throw up to five different pitches now in my role at Youngstown, being the closer. My fastball is low-90s, topping out in the mid-90s. I usually throw that and go to my slider, which is in the low-to-mid-80s, and it's usually a one-two punch like that. I throw a two-seamer, a changeup, a curveball, and cutter. I throw those but I don't get to them just because I'm the closer, but I don't know if that'll change when we find out what's going on up here.
BF: Unlike a lot of draftees probably, you have at least a little experience with Milwaukee, since you guys played in the same conference. You guys were actually in Milwaukee less than a month ago.
EM: Yep, we were up there for our last series, about two, two and a half weeks ago.
BF: Any impression of the city?
EM: It's a nice city. We've been able to go up there for the past four years I've been here at Youngstown, and we stay right downtown, next to whatever mall is right there, I'm not sure. We've been out to different bars. I've been to that spy bar, that's pretty cool, and we went to Ryan Braun's restaurant. I've been to a few different restaurants, where you sit out on the river and stuff. It's a really nice city. Actually, when I was a sophomore, we were fortunate enough to play at Miller Park when we played the Panthers, and that's obviously a great stadium. I look forward to being there as soon as I can.
BF: Well, we wish you the best of luck in getting back here as soon as you can.
EM: I appreciate it. I'm excited for the opportunity, and I expect to really perform and show what I can do.