Marlin Michael McPhail
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 185 lb.
Marlin McPhail spent six seasons in AAA yet never made the majors. He then became a scout.
He was All-Conference in baseball, basketball and football in high school then set Cornell school records with 185 career hits, 130 RBI, 131 runs and 239 total bases. He was twice All-Ivy League at second base. Undrafted out of college, McPhail signed with the New York Mets. He split the summer of 1982 between the Kingsport Mets (2 for 11, BB) and Little Falls Mets (.270/.360/.392 in 22 G). He caught Dwight Gooden in Gooden's first pro start, breaking his thumb after 1 2/3 innings on a heater from the flame-throwing phenom. He played well as a backup OF-3B for the 1983 Lynchburg Mets (.301/.417/.441 in 41 G) and Columbia Mets (.303/.354/.409 in 42 G). With Lynchburg, he backed up Dave Cochrane at 3B and Lenny Dykstra and Mark Carreon in the outfield. Had he qualified, he would have been 4th in the Carolina League in average (Dykstra and Carreon were 1-2) and 10th in the South Atlantic League.
Marlin split 1984 between Lynchburg (.281/.369/.356 in 77 G) and the Jackson Mets (.281/.347/.360 in 30 G). He played second base, third base and first base as well as the outfield that year, trying to win time in a Mets chain loaded with prospects (Lynchburg this time included Barry Lyons, Dave Magadan and Randy Myers en route to a Carolina League title. He added shortstop to his list of positions in 1985, which he spent with Jackson (.229/.312/.289 in 66 G) and the Tidewater Tides (7 for 23, 2B, BB). He ended his run as a Mets minor league in '86, hitting .250/.304/.346 in 42 games. With the 1986 Mets winning the World Series, playing time in the Mets' MLB and AAA teams was a battle. He backed up Magadan at third, Steve Springer at second and Carreon, Stan Jefferson and Terry Blocker in the outfield.
Moving to the Chicago White Sox chain in 1987, McPhail got his only chance as a full-time player during his 10 seasons as a pro. He hit .290/.361/.448 with a career-high 14 homers as the main third baseman for the Birmingham Barons, though he only fielded .871 at the hot corner. He helped Birmingham win the Southern League title and just missed the SL's top 10 in average. In '88, he returned to AAA after a year off, batting .276/.361/.404 for the Vancouver Canadians. The utility man mostly backed up Kelly Paris at 3B and Lance Johnson, Sap Randall and Mark Davis in the outfield.
Back with Vancouver in 1989, the former Ivy Leaguer put up a .279/.338/.405 line with a career-best 15 steals (caught 9 times) while often starting alongside Lance Johnson and Jim Weaver in the outfield. He also pitched 1/3 of an inning (one hit, one walk) and had now appeared at every position during his minor league career. McPhail helped the Canadians win the 1989 Pacific Coast League title. Back with Vancouver in 1990, he had a productive campaign (.288/.347/.435, 60 RBI) but was not called up. He mostly backed up Tracy Woodson at third base, but his 109 games played indicate regular usage, if not a regular position. He also tossed a shutout inning, allowing one hit. He wrapped up his playing career with the 1991 Indianapolis Indians, batting .273/.335/.423.
Overall, the Connecticut native had a .279/.351/.403 batting line in 874 minor league games, scoring 401 runs and driving in 360. He hit 53 homers and stole 45 bases in 72 tries. He pitched 1 1/3 shutout innings. He played 299 games at 3B (fielding only .887), 269 in the outfield (.965), 111 at 2B (.970), 77 at 1B (.989), 2 at SS, 2 at P and one at catcher.
Becoming a scout for the Mets, McPhail has signed Michael Antonini, Josh Edgin, Jeremy Gould, Matt Harvey, John Hendricks, Cory Mazzoni, Dylan Owen, Bobby Parnell, Champ Stuart, Nathan Vineyard, D.J. Wabick, and Ty Wigginton among others.