Over the weekend Mets outfield prospect Brad Marquez suffered a “major” knee injury while playing football for Texas Tech during their upset over West Virginia. The injury was initially described as “major”, which got some thinking that it was an ACL tear, but yesterday Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tubberville described the injury as “other small damage in there”. An ACL injury likely would have kept Marquez from playing baseball in the minors this summer, but Tubberville “it won’t be as long a recovery for Bradley”, comparing him to a teammate that broke his foot. Marquez tweeted that he is done for the season, meaning the football season, but since this turned out to not be an ACL injury there is nothing to indicate at this time that the injury will keep him from playing baseball this summer, most likely in either Kingsport or Brooklyn. There have been rumors lately that Marquez was contemplating quitting football altogether and focusing 100% on baseball, and this injury may push him further toward making that decision.
Marquez was picked in the 11th round of the 2011 draft. He signed with the Mets at the deadline with the Mets agreeing to let him play football at Texas Tech and spend his summers in the minors. Marquez fought through injuries this past summer and only managed 30 at bats while playing for Kingsport, hitting .267. Before his injury, Marquez had 16 catches for 172 yards as a wide receiver at Texas Tech this season. As a true freshman a year ago Marquez played the whole season and caught 25 passes for 240 yards with one touchdown receiving and one touchdown rushing.
Heading into the 2012 season, I personally ranked Marquez as the 49th top prospect in the Mets system, before he had even played a professional game. He is not among my top 50 heading into next season, mostly because of a lack of at bats in Kingsport this past season and concern over whether or not he would ever commit to baseball and how old he would be when he did. That being said, Marquez may be the best pure athlete in the entire organization, eclipsing the likes of Jordany Valdespin and Juan Lagares, and is likely the fastest player in the organization as well. Whether or not he can hit enough to make it to the big leagues remains to be seen, but he definitely has the potential to play centerfield at the big league level, which will push up his value and prospect standing, especially if he decides to play baseball full time.