Most people picture the Caribbean Islands as the sight of off season baseball leagues but there is baseball being played in the Earth’s Southern Hemisphere.
Right-hander Eric Marzec is the sole representative of the entire Brewers’ organization to play for the Australian Baseball League which runs through January 26.
The Ohio-born pitcher was among the top five among Huntsville Stars’ relievers during the 2013 season with 43 games and a stellar 51 strikeouts compared to 20 walks.
Marzec, 25, went undefeated through the duration of the 2013 season with a 5-0 record and allowed just 12 earned runs through 54.1 innings pitched for the Double A Southern League team.
His success is carrying over with the Melbourne Aces of the ABL with four solid performances thus far.
Despite a rough outing December 13 against the Brisbane Bandits where he allowed one earned run, walk and a hit in 1.1 innings, he has demonstrated some strikeout potential with eight total in 5.1 cumulative innings.
With the season a third complete, Marzec will have more opportunities to show he can be relied upon as a possible reliever with the Nashville Sounds in 2014.
Marzec being drafted by Milwaukee was a victory for him after incurring a major setback in high school which turned off several college programs, according to “A Minor League Season.”
A position player and pitcher prior to being selected with the 30th round pick in the 2010, Milwaukee made the decision to have him focus on pitching.
The pitcher from Canton incurred a hip fracture his junior season of high school after climbing the ladder from junior varsity to a promotion to the varsity squad.
It left him without baseball for six months and was relegated to watching games from the bench.
Strong work ethic and the ability to maintain focus is what led Marzec to professional baseball despite multiple signs of discouragement as he embarked on his journey through high school and college.
According to thoughts conveyed by Marzec to CantonRep.com, he needed to make necessary adjustments to make it through the rigors of pitching a longer season.
“I was a power pitcher,” Marzec said. “Now that I’m in the pros, I don’t throw hard anymore (comparatively speaking). I throw 90-93. That’s good, but it’s not 97. So you’re not overpowering guys anymore. You have to use your head and pitch.”