At the start of the 2015-16 international signing period, the Phillies signed Marchan, who had just recently begun catching, for $200,000. While it can take young backstops a while to move because of the amount they have to learn on both sides of the ball, Marchan has advanced nicely in the Phillies system, using his advanced defense and impressive contact skills to reach full-season ball, and earn a promotion, during the 2019 season at age 20.
Marchan’s calling card is his defense, and he has catch and throw skills that would work in the big leagues right now. He has a plus arm that has allowed him to throw out a tick more than 36 percent of potential basestealers and he’s an outstanding receiver as well. He gets high marks for his framing as well as his ability to lead a pitching staff.
While his bat is behind the glove, Marchan does have some offensive skills. The switch-hitter makes a ton of contact and rarely strikes out using an approach that produced the best line-drive percentage of any of the Phillies’ Top 30 prospects in 2019. He’s yet to hit a professional home run, but there is some extra-base thump in there. There’s enough impact for him to have every chance to be a big league regular behind the plate, albeit a defensive-minded one.
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 40 | Run: 30 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45<p>
The big name the Phillies got at the start of the 2015-16 international signing period was Jhailyn Ortiz, who got $4 million to sign in July 2015. But the Phillies also signed Marchan, a one-time infielder who had moved behind the plate. The Phillies got him for $200,000, which is starting to look like a bargain. After a strong pro debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2016, the Venezuelan backstop had a pedestrian United States debut in the Gulf Coast League in '17, but jumped on the map with an All-Star performance in the New York-Penn League a year ago.
Marchan has the chance to be a solid all-around catcher, with skills on both sides of the ball. He can catch and throw with excellent accuracy, having thrown out nearly 36 percent of potential basestealers thus far in his pro career. A good receiver and blocker, he's worked on his English so he can communicate with his pitching staff well and displays outstanding leadership traits. Offensively, Marchan has a good swing and line-drive approach from both sides of the plate with the chance to be an average hitter and perhaps eventually average power.
While he's a well-below-average runner, he's athletic and plays with the kind of energy behind the plate that teams and fans love to see. His defense will be the key, but he looks like he'll swing the bat well enough to potentially be a big league regular.