CLEBURNE, TEXAS — The Gary SouthShore RailCats announced the Arizona Diamondbacks purchased the contract of 28-year-old outfielder Evan Marzilli before Sunday’s series finale against the Cleburne Railroaders. Marzilli is the 35th different RailCat to have his contract purchased by an MLB franchise and the second this season after Edgar Corcino had his contract purchased by the Boston Red Sox on May 23rd.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” said Marzilli. “I’m thankful for the opportunity and am just grateful for it and hopefully this all works out for the RailCats and me.”
Marzilli departs Gary with a .192/.346/.252/.597 slash line in 43 games (42 starts) and was tied for fourth in the American Association with 31 walks. Marzilli also led qualifying outfielders in the league with a 1.000 fielding percentage in 107 total chances, led the RailCats outfield with three assists, 40 starts in center field and was tied for the team lead with six stolen bases. The eight-year veteran also recorded 21 runs, 29 hits, seven doubles, one triple, 13 RBIs and five hit by pitches.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure to have Evan on our club,” said RailCats manager Greg Tagert. “His contributions and impact on the 2019 RailCats and the future go far beyond the stat sheet. He possesses the rare trait of a player who makes everyone around him better.”
Marzilli signed a minor league free agent contract with the Chicago Cubs on January 16, 2019, and went 3-for-18 with two runs, one double, one stolen base, and two walks in Spring Training before signing his first Independent Professional Baseball (IPBF) contract with Gary on April 19th. Prior to signing with the Cubs, Marzilli previously spent seven seasons in the Diamondbacks minor league system, reaching Triple-A.
Marzilli went 1-for-2 with a run and a strikeout in his IPBF debut in the season opener on May 17th against the Chicago Dogs and reached base safely in the first 10 games of the season. Marzilli had his best offensive game on June 23rd against the St. Paul Saints, where he went 4-for-6 with four RBIs, two runs and two doubles, including a two-out, three-run bases-clearing double in the top of the ninth to give the ‘Cats the lead for good.
A native of Cranston, R.I., Marzilli began his pro career in 2012 after getting selected by Arizona in the eighth round of the 2012 MLB Draft out of South Carolina University as a junior. Marzilli was assigned to the Missoula Osprey (Rookie Affiliate) of the Pioneer League and slashed .332/.403/.389/.791 with 40 runs, 70 hits, 10 doubles, one triple, 15 RBIs, six stolen bases and four hit by pitches in 51 games.
In 2013, Marzilli appeared in MLB Spring Training with the D-Backs for the first time in his career and went 1-for-10 with two stolen bases and a walk in nine games before getting assigned to the Visalia Rawhide (Class-A Advanced Affiliate) of the California League. The outfielder slashed .250/.342/.346/.687 with a career-high 115 hits and 27 doubles and scored 67 runs, hit four triples, three home runs and stole 14 bases.
Marzilli returned to MLB Spring Training again with Arizona in 2014 and went 2-for-9 with a run, sacrifice fly and two RBIs in eight games before returning to Visalia again. In 52 games with the Rawhide, Marzilli slashed .244/.360/.409/.769 with 30 runs, eight doubles, three triples, five home runs, 18 RBIs and seven stolen bases before getting promoted to the Mobile BayBears (Double-A Affiliate) of the Southern League on June 2. In 81 games with Mobile, Marzilli slashed .246/.328/.361/.690 with 33 runs, 70 hits, 12 doubles, six triples, three home runs, 35 RBIs, and eight stolen bases in 81 games. Following a strong MiLB season, Marzilli was invited to the Arizona Fall League, and slashed .303/.376/.382/.758 with 15 runs, 23 hits, one double, one triple, one home run, nine RBIs and seven stolen bases in 25 games with the Salt River Rafters.
In 2015, Marzilli went 0-for-16 with three runs and a walk in 23 games with the Diamondbacks in Spring Training before getting placed on the Disabled List to begin the MiLB season. Marzilli began the MiLB season on a rehab assignment with the Arizona League Diamondbacks (Rookie Affiliate) and slashed .409/.552/.500/1.052 with five runs, nine hits, a triple, an RBI and three stolen bases in eight games before getting assigned to the Reno Aces (Triple-A Affiliate) of the Pacific Coast League. In nine games with Reno, Marzilli slashed .300/.300/.400/.700 with four runs, nine hits, one double, one triple, two RBIs and a stolen base before returning to the Disabled List. Marzilli made another rehab assignment with the AZL Diamondbacks before finishing the season with Mobile. In 32 games with the BayBears, Marzilli slashed .246/.354/.344/.698 with 17 runs, 30 hits, five doubles, two triples, one home run, eight RBIs and six stolen bases.
In 2016, Marzilli was invited to Diamondbacks spring training as a non-roster invitee and slashed a career-best .353/.389/.676/1.065 with five runs, 12 hits, four doubles, two triples, one home run, nine RBIs and one stolen base in 25 games. Marzilli opened the MiLB year with Reno and slashed .209/.312/.343/.655 with 11 runs, 14 hits, five doubles, two triples, one RBI and three stolen bases in 21 games before getting reassigned to Mobile on May 6. Marzilli finished the year with the BayBears and slashed .231/.351/.301/.653 with 51 runs, 79 hits, 13 doubles, four triples, one home run, 27 RBIs, 11 stolen bases and a career-high eight hit by pitches in 102 games.
In 2017, Marzilli went 5-for-24 with two runs, one triple, two RBIs and one stolen base with Arizona in Spring Training before getting assigned to the Jackson Generals (Double-A Affiliate) of the Southern League. In 95 games with the Generals, Marzilli slashed .253/.370/.372/.742 with 54 runs, 75 hits, 10 doubles, five triples, five home runs, 17 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases before getting promoted to Reno on July 31. In 32 games with the Aces, Marzilli slashed .264/.355/.406/.760 with 14 runs, 28 hits, five doubles, two triples, two home runs, 18 RBIs and one stolen base in 32 games.
Marzilli returned to Spring Training with the Diamondbacks for the final time in 2018 and went 2-for-10 with a run in eight games before being placed on the Disabled List to begin the MiLB season. Marzilli went 3-for-7 with two runs, a double, two RBIs, and a stolen base in three games with the AZL Diamondbacks on a rehab assignment before going to Reno. In 43 games with the Aces, Marzilli slashed .260/.345/.382/.726 with 23 runs, 34 hits, six doubles, two triples, two home runs, 15 RBIs and a stolen base in 43 games before getting reassigned to Jackson. In 10 games with the Generals, Marzilli went 4-for-30 with six runs, two doubles and three stolen bases in 10 games.
Gary concludes their three-game road series against Cleburne on Sunday at 6:05 p.m. RailCats’ right-hander Justin Sinibaldi (1-3, 4.11) opposes Railroaders’ Jesus Sanchez (5-2, 3.95) in the series finale.
Gary returns home to U.S. Steel Yard for the start of their season-long 10-game homestand on Friday, July 12th at 7:10 p.m. vs. the Cleburne Railroaders. Friday’s game is Kevin “Bacon” Night, and includes bacon themed concession specials throughout the stadium. Friday’s game is also Nurses Appreciation Night and another Fifth Third Bank Postgame Fireworks Friday.
Ticket packages for the 2019 Gary SouthShore RailCats season are available online at railcatsbaseball.com and can also be purchased by calling the RailCats ticket line at (219) 882-BALL. The RailCats box office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.