Kevin Marnon has moved around quite a bit throughout his baseball career, but the latest move is the biggest of his career.
The former Ball State baseball player prepared to take the field for pregame work during the Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers game on July 27 when his coach told him to call the player development coordinator for the USPBL.
As he walked out of the stadium to make the call, his manager stopped him and told him that he was picked up by the Minnesota Twins organization.
“It was sort of surreal,” Marnon said. “I just sort of thought about what he told me and everything started so fast. I just thought about all of the work I put in for the game and how far I had come that I’d reached one of my goals that I had set out for a while now.”
That goal took first took fruition four years ago, when Marnon began his collegiate baseball career at East Tennessee State. He then transferred to Akron, taking a redshirt season in 2015.
But Marnon would never play for the Zips, as the university’s athletic department decided to shut down the baseball program.
That’s when Ball State head coach Rich Maloney found Marnon, who would end up being one of the Cardinals rotation guys for the rest of his collegiate career. In two seasons, Marnon led the Cardinals in games started (28), innings pitched (143) and strike outs (109).
Marnon became the third player signed out of the United Shore Professional Baseball League this season, behind former teammate Alex Maloney, who signed with the Chicago White Sox on May 24.
“I was there before [Maloney] was, but as soon as he got there he said ‘Listen, me and you, we’re going to do well in this league and we’re going to get picked up by the end of the summer,’” Marnon said. “That’s fortunately happened for both of us, we did well and were signed to teams.”
Alex Maloney was right. During Marnon’s time in the USPBL, he made 16 appearances, never losing a game, and boasted a 1.72 ERA and 1.53 WHIP.
And he's trying to pick up with the GCL Twins right where he left off with Birmingham-Bloomfield.
“I’m coming in with the mentality that I’m going to dominate and continue the success that I’ve had playing in the USPBL,” Marnon said. “I’m trying to keep my confidence up and keep rolling."
Marnon officially joined the rookie league affiliate for the Twins on Sunday, making his first appearance on Wednesday.
After replacing Blayne Enlow in the bottom of the eighth, Marnon threw the final two innings of the game, striking out one batter and giving up one hit.