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 to hit for a lot of power. He runs very 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. 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 struggled at Indianapolis, showing good plate discipline but not hitting the ball with any authority. He got almost exactly the same amount of playing time in AAA with the Pirates as with the Padres, so there’s still more reason to question whether his numbers before the trade resulted mainly from the park in El Paso. With Indy, Marcano played mostly at second, with just one game at short, a few at third and, ominously, eight in the outfield.
Except for one game with the Pirates, Marcano spent April and May with Altoona. He got called up to the Pirates in late May and stayed there until early July, with the exception of a brief stay on the injured list. Marcano spent the last several weeks of July at Indianapolis, then returned to Pittsburgh in early August. He stayed with the Pirates after that, except for a two-week stretch in AAA in September. Marcano hit very well for Altoona and decently for Indianapolis. He hit very little in the majors. LHPs were a big problem; Marcano had an anemic .518 OPS against them, .778 against RHPs. Ominously, Marcano spent more than half his time in the field with the Pirates in left field, with second base getting most of the rest. He also played mostly left for Altoona, while splitting the rest of his time between second, third and short. He committed few errors at any position.
Marcano made solid showings for Indy and Altoona in 2022, but struggled with the Pirates. The bigger problem, though, is that the Pirates seem to like him best in left. The Pirates are absolutely obsessed with playing middle infielders in the outfield, and no matter how badly that habit works out, they keep returning to it.
|2023: 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: 1 (USED: 2021, 2022)
MLB Service Time: 0.138
|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.