It’s the 2020 season debut of Earning Their Stripes, our show specializing in minor league coverage. Special guest Marlins left-hander Braxton Garrett reflects on his impressive 2019 campaign with the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads, shares some of the secrets behind his signature curveball and explains his reasons for being optimistic about the direction of the franchise.
Enjoy Episode 25!
The No. 7 overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft out of Florence High School in Alabama, Garrett made only four professional appearances before injuring his elbow. He was sidelined throughout the 2018 MiLB regular season.
The Marlins aggressively assigned Garrett to High-A Jupiter to begin 2019, and he flourished. As a 21-year-old, he posted a 3.34 ERA, 3.73 FIP and 2.71 xFIP in 105.0 IP. When the Florida State League ended prematurely in late August due to inclement weather, he made his debut at Double-A Jacksonville (where he’s expected to compete for most of 2020). Garrett then visited Marlins Park during the final homestand of the year where he was honored as Jupiter’s Most Valuable Player.
Garrett’s best weapon is his curveball which he crafted with his father’s help nearly a decade ago. Against more advanced competition, he has needed to develop the rest of his arsenal, including four-seam and two-seam fastballs and a changeup. With a repeatable delivery and the potential for three above-average pitches, he profiles as a future starting pitcher in the majors.
An Alabama native, Garrett now lives and trains in South Florida year-round. In 2020, he aims to build upon last season’s workload and defend his Marlins ping pong tournament title.