Interview with Marek Minařík

Thanks to JKEARSE for another short interview with an under the radar Phillies prospect.

On May 7th, 2010 the Phillies signed a tall, sixteen year old righty out of the Czech Republic. Marek Minařík, now seventeen years old, was courted by multiple teams after an appearance at the MLB European Academy Tryouts in Prague. Not much is known about the right hander, but he did play in an Australian league along with ex-Phillies prospect Todd Van Steensel and current Phils prospect Josh Warner, posting a 2.18 ERA in just under 21 innings, along with a 1-0 record and 16 strikeouts. Minařík is an interesting prospect because there is still time for him to grow height wise and can already hit 91 MPH on his fastball. Thanks to Marek for his time!

Check below for the interview

Q: Why did you choose to sign with the Phillies (out of other MLB offers) and to leave Europe?
A: Phillies scout Rick Jacques was the first who discovered my potential and Phillies finally gave me the best offer.

Q: What pitches do you throw and what MPH range do you generally stay in?
A: I throw a fastball, average speed is around 87-89 MPH and a maximum speed is 91. Another is the changeup that glides around 75-76 MPH. This winter I am working on my curveball.

Q: You spent some time with the Australian League, along with Phillies prospect Josh Warner and ex-Phillie, current Twin Todd Van Steensel. What experiences did you gain playing over there?
A: My presence in Australia had brought me many experiences from many perspectives. First time I had spent such long time out of my family. My first separate flight across the world. New friends. New coaches. The program was very good for me. It was a big contrast against what I have experienced so far. I had enjoyed every day.

Q: How has the transition been from playing in a different country? How have you adjusted, have you spoke to other players in the system?
A: I had to get used to it that every man is as good as or better than me. Every day was from 7:30 am to 4 pm on the field and practice with the rest of players. Nobody was waiting for me and I had to adapt very quickly and make everything like other players. After 14 days of my stay I started to talk with other teammates and made new friends.

Q: Do you anticipate being a starter or a reliever, and what level in the system do you expect to start the season off at?
A: I plan to be starter. Answering your second question is very difficult for me. I am in the organization only 6 months. In 2011 I will attend my first spring training. I hope that my coaches give me opportunity to play at a level that is according to my abilities.

Q: Who are some of your favorite players growing up?
A: I admire the performances of some players but I do not have idols that I looked up.

Q: Any other comments?
A: I’m glad I can play for the Phillies because this was my dream and I hope that I will be a benefit for the Phillies.

34 thoughts on “Interview with Marek Minařík

  1. Thanks, love these interviews…

    Hopefully he finds his first ST enjoyable and I expect he will probably remain in extended spring training to allow time to get adjusted to life a long way from home.

  2. The age factor is huge. 91 mph at 16? Also good production in Aussie League. Very promising. Good communicator too. Some of the expected mild grammar stuff you expect from a European with English as second or third language, but he gets his point across very well. You can’t minimize that factor in his development and the fact that he began to make friends.

    Thanks for making an obscure prospect real for me. I will follow him closer now.

  3. My first thought was: Who the H-E-double hockey sticks is Josh Warner? I searched through the transactions and found that he was signed on 1/28/2010.

    The Phils comb the world looking for that lightning in a bottle. They haven’t found it in Europe yet but maybe Marek’s the man (or should I say young man?).

    I like these types of interviews. It’s not too revealing about the kid but I’ll bet it was the language barrier. I like that he’s eager to learn. Was there an interpreter or does he speak English or do you speak Czech?
    Thanks for the interview

  4. Sweet interview. I wonder how the kid got into baseball. I loved how he said, “I plan to be a starter.” Let’s hope he gets to spring training and falls under the spell of Roy Halladay.

  5. I gotta say, I love this idea that our prospects will flourish and prosper just by being in the aura of Roy Halladay and company. What kind of track record did the Blue Jays have with developing starting pitchers? C’mon now. It sounds good, but it’s bullshit.

  6. How would you know? Every offseason there are a million stories about how so and so is entering ST in “the best shape of his life,” or they re-worked their swing, or lost 20 pounds, or gained 20 pounds of muscle, or developed a new pitch and most of it is just filler.

  7. I hope they didn’t drop much cash on this guy, anyone that doesn’t have a baseball idol just bugs me.

    He may turn into another C.Ruiz, but he’ll probably end being a guy pumping gas in NJ.

  8. Hmm I didn’t hear anything at all about Josh Warner or Marek signing with us. Hopefully they do well.

  9. Real interesting interview. He could throw very hard at some point as he continues to grow. He has to be mentally tough to adjust to a foreign country. But as Charlie Manuel says, being mentally tough is part of being a big leaguer.

  10. Perhaps, but come on…did anyone think Kendrick would even last a full year in the majors for a CONTENDER as a starter? Let alone the phillies pay him 3 million a year rather then cut him? His stuff has always been marginal at best. Assuming reports of hard work are accurate, maybe it doesn’t make him anything more then a 5, but instead of being 1 and done, he’ll last a few years…

  11. I gave a pretty comprehensive report on Warner and Minarek after the junior world championships which Australia won beating USA, Cuba and Japan along the way.
    Minarek and Warner didn’t play in an “Australian League” (there wasn’t one at the time. They played in intra squad game at the Australian Academy in preparation for the world championships. Minarek was OK but nothing spectacular there and at the worlds but Warner was sensational at the Academy but was injured and played little part in the worlds.
    If you think this all indicates a new awakening in the world following the Lee trade then you haven’t been paying attention. The Phillies system has had a sprinkling of Aussies for years. And this from a country that has less baseball news coverage than USA has cricket.

  12. Spanning the globe the Phils top Mexican prospect leftfielder Sebastian Valle just blasted a hanging curve ball thrown into his wheelhouse on a 2-2 count over .400 ft. in tonights game. The ball wound up bouncing around in the center field bleachers at the Los Mochis park. In his last 10 plate appearances he has three homers, a triple, two singles, a walk and a sac. fly. That guy deserves an invite to the major league camp.

  13. Third time up in tonight’s game Valle barreled a fastball at the knees right down the middle of the plate for another, this time towering, 400 ft. two run homer to center. He is locked in.

  14. Valle getting after it!

    Hope he continues to improve catching the gang of better hopefuls at Clrwtr in ’11 along with giving many baseballs the big ride. Looking back a bit, this seems to verify the club giving up D’Arnaud and Marson.

    As a fallback at catcher, Rupp could be up in 2-3 yrs. A couple of the other catcher draftees could provide additional competition at the position: note Diaz of the Clwtr GCL, f’rinstance. That position looks better than we dared hope since those other two were traded.

    “11 Clrwtr, thereafter: The World!

  15. according to klaw there is a chance michael taylor is traded within the next few weeks since the athletics just got willingham. would he be worth a shot and what would it take to get him?

  16. One former Phils GM when asked on radio about prospect in Australia replied no but they have some in the Netherlands.

  17. mikeb
    MT back would be so interesting . Besides being a MT fan I would like to possibly hear his side of what happened in 2010.

    I wonder what can be had for Blanton since all the GMs except Ruben have gone crazy.

  18. some really posted that they didn’t like the guy because he didn’t have a baseball idol? that really matters?

  19. Thanks for this report, very interesting. I take notice when a 16/17 yr old kid throws 91 but we’ll have to see how it goes. As far as MT being available, I could easily see Oakland taking Blanton back and MT being part of such a deal. It would somehow feel right with Lee coming back, wouldn’t it? Toronto wanted Gose over Taylor all along and finally got him.

  20. Murray, MT looks like a guy you could buy low on now. And it brings up a question:

    Both MT’s and Adrian Cardenas’ production fell off when they moved to the Oakland org. They had problems hitting in the PCL, a hitter’s league with multiple high-altitude venues? What gives? Coincidence or a difference in development approach that they did not like?

  21. Hey Jumpin.. there is another Czech brother.. Rizzotti is part Czech. Not that you would ever guess it by his last name.

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