Diegomar Raymundo Markwell
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 2", Weight 190 lb.
Diegomar Markwell pitched for seven years in the Toronto Blue Jays system, making it to AA, before going to pitch in Hoofdklasse. Markwell has represented The Netherlands in twoOlympics and four World Baseball Classics among numerous events. He is a cousin of Andruw Jones. In 2006 and 2018, he was named Pitcher of the Year in Hoofdklasse.
1997-2003: Toronto farmhand
Markwell was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays for $750,000 at age 16. He debuted for the St. Catharines Stompers in 1997, going 1-6 with a 4.99 ERA and walking 40 in 48 2/3 IP against competition culled largely from the college ranks. He was only six walks away from leading the New York-Penn League. In 1998, Diego went 3-5, 5.54 in his second season in St. Catharines. Returning for a third try, Markwell did even worse, with a 3-4, 7.58 record and 50 earned runs allowed, the most in the New York-Penn.
In 2000, Diegomar returned to the league, now with the Queens Kings and fared much better, going 4-3 with a 3.05 ERA, 31 BB and 66 K in 73 2/3 IP while allowing a .220 average. He pitched two games for the Hagerstown Suns but walked five in two innings and gave up two runs.
The southpaw made further strides in 2001, going 5-7 with a 3.87 ERA for the Charleston Alley Cats and 3-1, 3.21 for the Dunedin Blue Jays. He walked 45 in 157 innings as his control continued to improve and he struck out 125 overall, four away from the lead for the entire Blue Jays chain.
In 2002, Diego had a good year for the Tennessee Smokies, posting a 13-9 record, 4.38 ERA and one save. He led the Toronto minor league system, with 60 walks but he also tied Vinny Chulk for the most wins in the organization; he and Chulk also tied for the Southern League lead in victories. His 23 homers allowed were the most in the SL, though. He was added to Toronto's 40-man roster in November and got a spring training invitation the next year. Also that year, teammate Pasqual Coco stole money from him, leading to Coco's release from the Toronto chain.
Markwell's last year in the US was a rough one. With the New Haven Ravens, he was 5-7 with a 7.04 ERA, getting torched for a .324 opponent batting average while walking almost one batter per two innings.
Overall, he had a 37-41 record in the Toronto organization. The St. Louis Cardinals signed him as a free agent that off-season but let him go before he ever appeared with them.
2004-2009: In the Netherlands, Taiwan and international play, the early years
Markwell moved to Hoofdklasse in 2004 and did not finish among the league leaders. He also spent part of the summer with the Dutch team in the 2004 Olympics.
In 2005, Markwell went 6-3 with a 2.28 ERA for Neptunus. He finished 7th in Hoofdklasse in ERA, tied for sixth in wins and was 5th with 69 strikeouts. He went 2-0 in the 2005 European Championship with a 0.00 ERA but teammate Patrick Beljaards was named the tourney's top southpaw. He was 3-0 with a 2.01 ERA in the 2005 Baseball World Cup and tied for the cup lead in wins. Netherlands hosted the tourney and made the semifinals for the first time ever, thanks in significant part to Diego's work on the hill and he made the tournament All-Star team as the top left-handed pitcher.
Diegomar then represented The Netherlands in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. He did not fare well, going 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA in a loss to Cuba. Things turned around though in the regular season. Markwell went 12-2 with a 1.58 ERA. Only Akira Okamoto had a lower ERA among qualifiers, Diego tied for the win lead and was 4th with 82 Ks. He won Pitcher of the Year honors, making Neptunus just the second team in league history to claim the award five years in a row - he had been preceded by Rob Cordemans (3 times) and Eelco Jansen. The post-season was a sour one, though, as he went 0-2 with a 4.97 ERA.
In the 2006 Intercontinental Cup, he was 1-0 with a 3.75 ERA.
Markwell got a tryout with the Macoto Cobras for 2007, with a shot at being one of the first Dutch players in Taiwan; Cordemans and Ivanon Coffie also were being given trials. Markwell pitched in three games for Macoto before being released, whereas Cordemans and Coffie caught on (though neither lasted the full season). He returned to Neptunus.
In 2007 Hoofdklasse, Diegomar went 9-1 with a 1.45 ERA though he was 0-1 in the playoffs as Neptunus was eliminated in the first round. He was 5th in the league in ERA, 4th in WHIP, 3rd in K:BB ratio, 7th in lowest opponent OBP (.274), tied with Leon Boyd and Vaughan Harris for second in wins, 5th in innings pitched (87), tied for 4th in complete games (2) and 5th in strikeouts (62). In the 2007 World Port Tournament, Markwell was 0-2 with a 9.72 ERA, allowing 17 hits in 8 1/3 innings.
Markwell struck out 9 in 5 2/3 innings in the 2007 European Championship. He allowed one unearned run for the Gold Medal-winning Dutch entry, which clinched a spot in the 2008 Olympics as a result. Markwell was 1-0 with a 3.65 ERA in the 2007 Baseball World Cup. He allowed 7 hits, 5 walks and 4 runs allowed in 5 1/3 innings in a win over the German national team but was far sharper against the Cuban national team in a game the Netherlands needed to win to make the quarterfinals. He allowed only one run in 6 2/3 innings against Cuba en route to Cuba's first loss to a European entry in a Baseball World Cup. Markwell got a no-decision in the fine outing and the Netherlands finished fourth in the tournament.
In the 2008 European Cup in Regensburg, Markwell was 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA. He took Neptunus's lone loss, against Danesi Nettuno, in the semifinals. Markwell had a 4.77 ERA in three games in the 2008 Olympics, being used strictly in a relief role.
In the 2008 Hoofdklasse, the southpaw was 9-5 with a 2.37 ERA, then lost his only playoff decision. He was 10th in the league in ERA, tied Rob Cordemans for fifth in wins, was 4th in innings (91), 9th in strikeouts (51) and tied Leon Boyd for the most quality starts (11). He did not play in the 2008 Olympics.
Back with the national team for the 2009 World Baseball Classic, Markwell tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings. In the make-or-break game against the Dominican national team, he relieved Dennis Neuman with two outs in the 9th of a scoreless game. He gave up a Jose Reyes single but then got Moises Alou to ground out in the final at-bat of Alou's professional career. He retired Hanley Ramirez and Willy Aybar to open the 10th and was relieved by Leon Boyd. The Dutch went on to a 2-1 win, eliminating the Dominican Republic.
Markwell was excellent in the 2009 World Port Tournament, going 1-1 with a 0.96 ERA. He lost a 1-0 pitching duel to Miguel Alfredo González of Cuba in his opener, then shut down Taiwan. In the finale, he allowed Cuba a first-inning run and left early. He was third in the event in ERA behind Maikel Folch and Chen-Hua Lin.
In the 2009 Hoofdklasse season, Markwell went 10-2 with a 1.82 ERA. He finished 4th in ERA (behind Ryan Murphy, Rob Cordemans and Dushan Ruzic), was 3rd in innings (99), was 5th in strikeouts (83) and tied Kevin Heijstek and Murphy for the win lead. He beat the Konica Minolta Pioniers in the opener of the 2009 Holland Series and had a no-decision in game 4, when Neptunus locked up the title.
He beat South Korea in the 2009 Baseball World Cup, worked 3 shutout innings to save Nick Veltkamp's win over Spain. He allowed a 3-run double to Yosvany Peraza in the Netherlands' 5-3 loss to Cuba, but did not take a loss as two of the runners were the responsibility of Juan Carlos Sulbaran. He held Team USA to one run (on an Ike Davis homer) in five but unraveled in the 6th in a loss. He finished the event at 1-1, 3.86 with a save; his 16 K were second on the team (two behind Cordemans).
2010- : Continued stardom in the Netherlands and on the international stage
He did a fine job for Neptunus in the 2010 European Cup but lost to the Marlins Puerto Cruz (8 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 8 K) as Antonio Noguera and Leslie Nacar pitched better. He had the best ERA in the Cup of any pitcher to lose a game, tied José Escalona for 6th in strikeouts and was 3rd in opponent average (.111, .034 behind Mauro Schiavoni and Mattia Barbaresi). He won Haarlemse Honkbalweek Best Pitcher in the 2010 Haarlemse Honkbalweek (he succeeded future major leaguer Mike Minor and would be succeeded by future major leaguer Marco Gonzales). He was 1-0 with no runs in 11 innings, beating Wen-Yang Liao and Taiwan and also stifling Taiwan in a second match.
The Willemstad native was 9-1 with a 1.32 ERA in the 2010 Hoofdklasse, finishing 3rd in ERA (behind Boyd and Cordemans), 9th in opponent average (.221, between Heijstek and Veltkamp), tied for 2nd in wins (3 behind David Bergman) and 1st in pick-offs (6). He was 1-2 with a 1.96 ERA in the 2010 Holland Series, losing Game 1 to Jos de Jong and the Amsterdam Pirates and outdueled by Cordemans in Game 4. Back in Game 6, he beat Cordemans with a one-hit gem (giving up two runs thanks to a hit-by-pitch and an error) to clinch the title; Rashid Gerard got the lone hit. It was the 3rd one-hitter in Holland Series, following ones by Ferenc Jongejan and Jansen.
He beat the Czech national team in the 2010 European Championship, allowing one run in 7 1/3 IP despite ten hits. He took the loss in the finale, though, against Italy (3 R in 5 IP) as the Netherlands did not win a European Championship for the first time in 13 years. In the 2010 Intercontinental Cup, he pitched a shutout inning against Italy to close out a win, allowed one run in 3 against Japan and beat Taiwan (2 R in 6 2/3 IP). He was with the Netherlands for the 2011 World Port Tournament.
During the 2011 European Cup, he had a 4.15 ERA in two outings for Neptunus, his six walks tying Audie Nunez and Marco Grifantini for the event lead. He was sharp in the 2011 Hoofdklasse (10-1, 1.71), finishing 3rd in ERA after Cordemans and Craig Anderson), 2nd in wins (one behind Eddie Aucoin), 3rd in opponent average (.211, after Cordemans and Anderson) and 1st with 9 pickoffs but Neptunus didn't make it to the Series this time.
Markwell beat the US in the 2011 Baseball World Cup, the first time the Netherlands had beaten a US team with professional players aboard. He topped Matt Shoemaker and company, allowing only 2 runs in 6 (one on an A.J. Pollock homer) and leaving with a 7-2 lead. He did not fare as well in his other two outings and his 4.70 ERA was the highest on the team; Orlando Yntema was next at 3.86. The Netherlands won the Baseball World Cup for the first time - and only time as it would be the final edition of the Cup.
He held Buchbinder Legionäre to two hits and one unearned run in eight innings in a win at the 2012 European Cup. He tied Andrés Gimeno for the best ERA and only Valerio Simone allowed a lower average. He contained Sweden on 3 hits and one run in five innings in the 2012 European Championship before Arshwin Asjes closed it out. The Netherlands repeated as Silver Medalists.
In the 2012 Hoofdklasse, he had a 11-1, 1.34 record. He was 4th in ERA (between Ben Grover and Bergman), tied Dennis Burgersdijk for 8th with 62 K, led in wins (one ahead of Luke Sommer and Cordemans) and again easily led in pick-offs (9, 3 more than Elton Koeiman). As in '10, he lost more games in the Holland Series than in the regular season, going 0-2 with a 4.15 ERA as Neptunus was swept by Corendon Kinheim, dropping both Games 1 and 4 to Bergman.
He was a big part of the Dutch squad's run to the final four in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He tossed four shutout innings (2 H, 1 BB) to beat Suk-min Yoon and South Korea; Yntema took over in the 5th. He then beat Cuba, allowing only one run despite nine hits in six (Alfredo Despaigne homered). In the semifinals, he faced the eventual champion Dominican national team and led Edinson Volquez 1-0 after 4, having given up 3 baserunners to the potent offense to that point. He faded in the 5th, giving up doubles to Carlos Santana and Moises Sierra and singles to Reyes and Miguel Tejada while retiring only two; Tom Stuifbergen relieved with a 2-1 deficit and Markwell took the tough loss as the Dominicans avenged their 2009 loss at his hands. For the Classic, he tied for second in wins (with Kenta Maeda, Nelson Figueroa, Danny Betancourt and Sam Deduno, one behind Pedro Strop), tied Volquez, Maeda, Deduno and Giancarlo Alvarado for the most starts (3), was second in IP (14 2/3, 1/3 behind Maeda) and allowed the most hits (17, 5 more than Hiram Burgos). His 3.07 ERA was in the middle of the pack among those with 3 starts, behind Maeda and Deduno but ahead of Volquez and Alvarado.
Diegomar was 2-0 with a 1.15 ERA in the 2013 World Port Tournament, finishing 7th in ERA and tying Ismel Jiménez for the most wins. In the 2013 Hoofdklasse, he was 9-3 with a 1.77 ERA. He was 5th in ERA (between Veltkamp and Josh Rickards), allowed the lowest average (.189, .003 ahead of Rickards), led in IP (101 2/3, 1 1/3 ahead of Koeiman), tied Rickards for 2nd with 92 K (9 behind Bergman), tied for 2nd in wins (one shy of Cordemans), tied Bergman for the most starts (15) and was 3rd with 6 pick-offs. He pitched 8 shutout innings against the Pioniers in the 2013 Holland Series opener before van Driel closed out the shutout, then beat Lars Huijer in game 3 as Neptunus pulled off a sweep. His 0.60 ERA was second in the Series (Dennis Buring was at 0.00) and he tied Brendan Wise for the most wins.
The veteran allowed two runs in five to beat the Legionäre in the 2014 European Cup but lost to ASD Rimini and Mike Ekstrom. In the 2014 European Championship, he threw a two-hitter against the Czechs and beat France despite 5 runs in 7. The Netherlands won the Gold and he was among the tournament leaders in IP (12, tied for 9th with Harry Glynne) and wins (tied for first with Frailyn Florian, Spencer Kreisberg, Asjes, Mike Bolsenbroek, Eric González and Jan-Niclas Stöcklin.
During the 2014 Hoofdklasse campaign, he was 8-1 with a 1.97 ERA and made the leaderboard in ERA (6th, between Asjes and Koeiman), opponent average (.226, 9th, between de Jong and Asjes), IP (tied for 4th with Ricardo Hernandez, 82 1/3), strikeouts (65, 5th, between Bergman and Veltkamp), wins (tied for 3rd with Cordemans, Yntema and Veltkamp) and starts (13, tied for 5th with Duko Jansen). He lost Game 1 of the 2014 Holland Series to Amsterdam and Heijstek, but got revenge against them in Game 3 with a 144-pitch complete game. It was his 4th Holland Series complete game to tie Cordemans for the all-time record. He had a 1-1, 3.52 record as Neptunus won in 7 games. His 13 whiffs led the Series, two ahead of Cordemans.
The southpaw was 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA in the 2015 European Cup opening round, beating the Ukrainian entry and getting a no-decision against the Czech Draci Brno team. He finished 3rd in ERA (behind Martin Schneider and Leonel Cespedes), tied Sommer for 2nd with 11 IP and tied Filippo Bertolini for 4th with 10 strikeouts. In the final round, he outdueled Raul Rivero of Unipol Bologna (3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 6 K in 7 1/3 IP) as Neptunus won the continental crown. Loek van Mil got the win. Only Marquis Fleming had a better ERA or more Ks in the final phase. He was 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA for the Netherlands in the 2015 World Port Tournament, beating Curacao. He was the World Port Tournament Best Pitcher, ending a run of three straight Cubans (Maikel Folch, Yadier Pedroso and Jiménez).
He notched his 100th Hoofdklasse win during 2015, the third lefty in league history to make it there, following Craig McGinnis and Richard Orman. He was 9-2 with a 2.06 ERA for the year, finishing 8th in ERA (between Bergman and Mike Groen), 7th in opponent average (.213, between Cordemans and Stuifbergen), 10th in K (54, between Jurjen van Zijl and Stufibergen), tied for first in wins with Heijstek and tied for first in pick-offs with Koeiman (5). He beat Kinheim and Bergman in Game 1 of the 2015 Holland Series with one run in eight and beat Veltkamp in game 3 despite 5 runs (2 earned) in 6 innings. For the Series, he was 4th in ERA (between Yntema and Bergman), led in Ks (13, 6 ahead of Yntema) and led in wins.
In the 2015 Premier 12, he allowed two runs in three innings against Taiwan before leaving after a Dai-Kang Yang liner hit his arm. He dueled Team Canada's Chris Leroux for five scoreless before giving up a two-run double to Jordan Lennerton in the 6th and losing. He allowed one run on nine hits in 7 innings in a 1-0 loss to Bologna in the 2016 European Champions Cup, getting outdueled by Rivero in a rematch from 2015. He was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in the 2016 Haarlem Baseball Week, beating Curacao and Australia.
Markwell had an off-year at 7-3, 3.08 in the 2016 Hoofdklasse. He was 5th in wins and 4th in IP (87 2/3, between Chris Pfau and Bergman) but did not make the top 10 in ERA. He still got the nod in Game 1 of the 2016 Holland Series, getting a no-decision against Amsterdam as Neptunus fell. He beat Robin Schel in Game 3 and had a no-decision in Game 6, when Neptunus clinched another title. He had a 3.44 ERA for his three starts that Series. At the 2016 European Championship, he was 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA, holding Great Britain to two hits (by Richard Klijn and Sam Wiley) and an unearned run in six in a win then blanking Italy for five innings on one hit before tiring. His .135 opponent average was 4th in the Euros that year, between Marc-André Habeck and Greg Hendrix.
He was again a key part of a strong Dutch run in the 2017 World Baseball Classic as they again made the semifinals. Taking over for Rick van den Hurk in the 5th against South Korea, he allowed only one hit and two walks with no runs before Shairon Martis relieved. He started against Cuba and shut them down (4 H, 0 BB, 1 R in 6 IP) to beat Lazaro Blanco; Martis again took over. He had a 1.04 ERA for the Classic, better than three MLB-experienced teammates (van den Hurk, Martis and Jair Jurrjens). Through the 2017 WBC, he was among the WBC and WBC qualifiers career leaders in wins (3, tied for 2nd with Strop and Javier Vázquez, behind only Daisuke Matsuzaka), games pitched (9, tied for 8th), starts (5, tied for 3rd with Jason Marquis and Cordemans, 1 behind Matsuzaka and Volquez), innings (28, 1st, 1/3 ahead of Matsuzaka) and hits allowed (30, 1st, 2 ahead of Carl Michaels).
The Willemstad native was 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA in the 2017 European Champions Cup, beating T&A San Marino to put Neptunus into the finals, where they won. He was 5th in the Cup in ERA (between Cordemans and Bolsenbroek), led in IP (11, two ahead of Riley Barr) and tied for 3rd with 8 whiffs (even with Rivero, Matteo Bocchi and Jean Granado). He pitched 10 1/3 shutout innings in the 2017 World Port Tournament but did not get a decision. He tied Ryosuke Fujii (11 IP) and Heijstek (7 IP) at a 0.00 ERA.
He went 9-2 with a 3.01 ERA in the 2017 Hoofdklasse, finishing 7th in ERA (between Koeiman and Schel), 3rd in opponent average (.205, trailing Cordemans and Jim Ploeger), 2nd in innings (80 2/3, 1 1/3 behind Kaj Timmermans), 9th in strikeouts (45, between Timmermans and Schel), tied Koeiman for 2nd in wins (one behind Cordemans), tied for first in starts (12) and tied with Timmermans for 2nd with five pick-offs. He was 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA when Neptunus repeated in the 2017 Holland Series. He struggled in a Game 1 no-decision but beat Cordemans in Game 4 with a fine outing.
Markwell dazzled the Rouen Huskies in the 2018 European Champions Cup, with a five-hit, no-walk shutout, needing only 100 pitches to beat Esteban Prioul. For the Cup, he was 4th in opponent average (.167, between Yntema and Wes Roemer), tied Owen Ozanich for 7th in IP (9) and only Yntema worked more innings with a 0 ERA. Neptunus won the Cup. He was not as good in the 2018 Haarlem Baseball Week, losing twice to Taiwan, including in the semifinals. He had a 6.48 ERA; only Sascha Koch was higher among qualifiers. He tied Dachel Duquesne, Filippo Crepaldi and Sheng-Feng Wu for the most losses in the competition.
He had his best Hoofdklasse campaign yet in 2018 at 11-0, 1.24 with a .164 average allowed. The 37-year-old was second in ERA (behind reliever van Mil's incredible 0.22) and opponent average (.164, .024 behind van Mil), tied Yntema for the win lead and was 4th with 87 1/3 IP (between Heijstek and Tim Halderman). He won Pitcher of the Year honors for the second time, the first time in 12 years, beating finalists Schel and Huijer. He had been a finalist in 2009, 2012 and 2013 but had lost to Murphy in '09 and Cordemans in '12 and '13. In the 2018 Holland Series opener, Amsterdam knocked him out with two outs in the 4th, the earliest he had been chased from a Series game. He came back to beat Cordemans in Game 4 and Neptunus won yet another title. He had a 5.40 ERA on the Series.
He next pitched for the Netherlands in the 2018 Super6, beating Germany and fellow veteran Enorbel Marquez with one run in seven in a mercy rule complete game win. He was second to Daniel Álvarez in ERA, second to Angelo Palumbo in opponent average (.179, .021 shy), tied Jan Novák and Alessandro Maestri for 7th in IP, tied Drew Janssens for 5th in Ks (7) and had the only complete game in the first Super6. The Netherlands won the title.
1998-2007 Baseball Almanacs, Worldbaseballclassic.com, Honkbalsite.com, Marco Stoolvar's site on Dutch baseball, October 9, 2000 TSN article lists signing bonus, Defunct IBAF site, Mister Baseball, 2008 Olympics, Confederation of European Baseball, Dutch Baseball and Softball Federation