Boston Red Sox prospect Elih Marrero was among 4 MiLB players issued suspensions due to positive drug tests, he’ll receive a 50-game ban for the result.
On December 20th, Major League Baseball announced the suspension for four MiLB players. Free-agent pitcher Daniel De Leon, Pittsburgh Pirates Minor League pitcher Andy Maldonado, Boston Red Sox Minor League catcher Elih Marrero, and free-agent Minor League pitcher Cole Watts, have all been issued suspensions due to violations of the Drug Prevention and Treatment program.
Marrero was given a 50-game suspension (without pay) because of a positive test for Amphetamines. Elih is a catcher on the Single-A Salem Red Sox team.
ESPN’s Mark Kreidler notes amphetamines as being old school. In 2005, they were known to be more common in a clubhouse than steroids (and more dangerous). Known as being “uppers,” they induce feelings of power, strength, and enhanced motivation. He explains that it acts by increasing alertness, decreasing a sense of fatigue, and decreasing appetite. Amphetamines don’t enhance extra physical strength.
What’s so dangerous about amphetamines being found in Marrero’s system? It would alter one’s sense of reality. There’s a high potential for dependency associated with amphetamines.
This isn’t the first time that trouble and Elih have collided. In 2017, while playing at Mississippi State, he was arrested. The charges? Driving under the influence and with no insurance. Elih has a bit of a negative history following him.
The Red Sox would have been aware of his history before drafting him and everyone makes mistakes. But considering his past, Marrero strikes me as a player that a coach and manager needs to keep a close eye on. What do we know about Elih as a player?
He was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2015 draft out of high school, opting to go to school instead. The Red Sox later selected him in the 2018 draft. The 5’9” catcher throws right-handed and is a switch hitter, and he also played on the USA National 18U team.
The 22-year-old has spent 2 seasons in the Minors, during which time he accumulated a .248 BA, .321 OBP, .351 SLG, and a .673 OPS. He only hit 1 HR with 31 RBIs, 1 stolen base, while whiffing 41 times.
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Sox Prospects highlights that Marrero is a defense-first catcher with a strong and accurate arm. Marrero is on the small (somewhat typical for the Red Sox when you look at the statures of their MLB players) but athletic behind the plate. He doesn’t have a great deal of power behind him. As a result, it’s expected that his defensive skills will carry him throughout his career.
Eli Marrero is Elih’s father (something that resulted in high expectations for his son’s performance). As a result of the high expectations, Baseball America ranked Elih 124 out of America’s Top-500 prospects for the 2015 draft.
Eli was a catcher, first basemen, and outfielder in the MLB. He played his last game in August of 2008. Eli spent 10 years playing as a St. Louis Cardinal, Kansas City Royal, New York Met, Colorado Rockie, Atlanta Brave, and Baltimore Oriole. He had a career .243 BA, .303 OBP, and .411 SLG stat line over that timespan.
Time will tell how this situation will play out. As a young player, he shows potential for his defensive skills. Let’s hope that he stays out of trouble from here on out. Considering the Red Sox aren’t the deepest when it comes to catchers, having Marrero hit his potential could mean good things down the road.