Photo: MiLB.com

OF Evan Marzilli played 51 games of rookie ball last season after being drafted by Arizona in the 8th round of the 2012 draft. This year, in his first full season of pro ball, the 5-11, 175-pound centerfielder was sent to hiA Visalia of the California League where he got off to a difficult start at the plate. But Marzilli has found his rhythm and is swinging a hot bat that has lifted his offensive numbers and helped the Visalia Rawhide to pull within a half-game of first place in the Cal League North standings.

Marzilli was drafted out of college baseball powerhouse South Carolina where he was a key part of two College World Series winning teams and one runner-up. Once assigned to Missoula of the Pioneer League, nothing much changed for Marzilli as he hit .332/.403/.389, but he broke his arm before the playoffs.

Returning to action this year in Visalia, Marzilli batted leadoff to start the year but he hit just .225/.367/.303 in April. And May was worse: his OPS was just .488.

Things started to turn around in July as the left-handed hitting Marzilli, now batting in the number-9 hole, put up a good month of .282/.367/.353. That has turned into an offensive tear over the first 12 games of August as the former Gamecock has hit in his last 10 games, with a string of multi-hit games included, to bring his season batting average up to .246. Over his last 10 games, a stretch in which the Rawhide have gone 9-1, Marzilli has posted a line of .432/.475/.757 while scoring five runs and knocking in 12.

Baseball America ranked the 22-year old Marzilli as Arizona’s #30 prospect in the spring and he was on their CF depth chart behind Adam Eaton, A.J. Pollock, Keon Broxton and Socrates Brito. That’s a pretty good centerfield class and Marzilli is showing that he fits right in. Maybe the rough start was due to having to bounce back from the broken arm, or it could have been a result of skipping a level and going from Rookie ball to hiA. Nevertheless, the talent is showing through and Marzilli’s 2013 performance will have a heavy emphasis on the second half as he continues to climb up through the ranks of the Diamondbacks’ system.