After completing his junior year at Arizona State he officially closed the books on his collegiate baseball career when he signed with the Red Sox.
But he refused to close the books on his academic career as he has committed himself to finishing up his course load so he can obtain his degree in Criminal Justice.
Just 20 credits shy of his goal, Marrero has set himself up so that he can complete his studies with online classes while beginning his professional baseball career.
“That’s my one goal, to get a degree,” said Marrero, a 2012 First Team Academic All-District VIII. “That’s one thing that I take really serious and have since college. I want to finish up right now. Why waste those three years.”
He is currently enrolled in two courses, a criminal justice course and a course on tourism. He is already planning on taking three courses during the fall semester and should wrap it all up by the time the 2013 baseball season is in full swing.
Now he must find a way to balance his work load and his budding baseball career.
“It’s like the same thing [as being at ASU],” said Marrero on handling everything. “That experience will definitely get me ready for doing it out here and will make it a lot easier.
“We come out here at two o’clock and play baseball until eleven. You get to your schoolwork before you get [to the park] and that’s just the way it is.”
He also feels that those long bus rides will serve for ample study time, adding, “Keep that night light on and I’m good.”
Knowledge around every corner
Little did Marrero know that once he got to his new home at LeLacheur Park in Lowell that he would get an on-the-job learning opportunity, with rehabbing shortstop Jose Iglesias in uniform working his way back from lower back issues.
“I’ve heard great things about him,” said Marrero, who took his first fielding reps with Iglesias by his side. “It was great getting ground balls in with him. He showed me a lot of things I had no idea about.”
Marrero, a slick-fielding shortstop in his own right, was eager to learn from Iglesias who is considered one of the best fielding prospects in the game.
They discussed positioning and reads, jumps and throwing angles. Marrero was all ears and was quick to find that he had a lot in common with Iglesias.
“He is just a great guy, a great player and I can see why he’s so good and why everybody loves him,” said Marrero of Iglesias. “He’s a first class guy and a Cuban shortstop, just like me.”
A higher place of learning
Prior to joining up with his Spinners teammates, Marrero made his first trip to Fenway Park to dot the “I”s and cross the “T”s on his contract.
He donned a red number 17 Red Sox jersey, met with the media and even got the chance to take some hacks at the Green Monster.
“That was an awesome experience,” said Marrero. “I got to hit a little bit, hit some balls out and some off the wall, so that was fun. That thing [the Monster] is right there, so it’s nice for a right-handed hitter.”
He also had an added level of comfort when he stepped on to the field with the big boys, thanks to fellow Sun Devil Dustin Pedroia.
“Me and Pedroia had our fun a little bit, goofing everybody about Arizona State,” said Marrero of his experience. “It was fun and is one thing I’m going to remember to keep me pushing, keep me going, because that’s where I want to be at the end of the day.”
For now, Marrero is more than content opening the book on his career with the Short-Season Single-A Lowell Spinners and taking things one day at a time, but you can bet that he plans to take the accelerated courses to get back to Fenway Park.
“One thing I need to learn is just to get better every day and not to stop learning and working,” said the determined Marrero. “Even when I move up, I just got to work every day and not take a day off because you can always get better.
“I’m just going to work, work, work, 24-7 and see what happens. That’s the philosophy that I have.”
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