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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Juan Marina showed promise in rookie ball, played five pro seasons; Made single-A

Kingsport Mets pitching coach Charlie Greene could hardly speak higher of his young hurler Juan Marina in July 1986, according to The Kingsport News.

In just over a season in the pros, Marina had blossomed into a prospect, and Greene believed he'd make the big leagues, he told The News.

"He has a knack of keeping the ball at the knees," Greene told The News. "He's not up very often. His ability to keep the ball at the knees consistently will be his ticket to the big leagues."

Marina went on to play a total of five seasons as a pro, but he never did fulfill the promise that Greene saw in him. He never got higher than single-A.

Marina's career began in 1985, signed by the Mets as an undrafted free agent out of his native Puerto Rico. Marina was also credited as Vega Marina.

Marina started with the Mets at rookie Kingsport. He went 3-4, with a 4.94 ERA. He picked up a hard luck loss in a July game, allowing one earned over five innings.

He returned to Kingsport and got a brief look at single-A Lynchburg for 1986. He took another tough loss in an early August 1986 game. 

"Marina pitched pretty good, he didn't really deserve that," Kingsport manager Chuck Hiller told The News afterward. "He's really only pitched one bad outing."

Marina arrived at single-A Columbia for 1987. He went 6-7, with a 2.59 ERA over 27 outings, 20 starts. He returned there for another 26 starts in 1988 and went 11-8, with a 3.07 ERA.

He arrived at single-A St. Lucie for 1989. He went 2.2 innings, giving up one hit in an early June game. Days later, he went on the disabled list with a sore elbow and he didn't return. He ended with a 2-3 record and a 4.69 ERA. 

Marina apparently tried to return for 1990, and made the St. Lucie team in time to make the team's card set, but he didn't get into a game that year or again, ending his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,797
Made the Majors:1,282-33.8%
Never Made Majors:2,515-66.2%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:526
10+ Seasons in the Minors:317

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