In Marek, the Braves get a prospect who gives them several potential options.
Drafted in the 40th round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft out of San Jacinto Junior College and signed the next spring as a draft-and-follow, Marek came to the Angels as a big, strong kid with a power arm who could crank his fastball into the mid-90s and offset it with a curveball that was his out pitch.
He worked as a starter for his first three pro seasons, leading the organization in ERA in 2006 when he combined between two Class A stops for a 2.38 ERA. In 2007, he posted a 4.30 ERA in 25 games at Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga.
In 2008, however, he began his conversion to the back end of the bullpen at Double-A Arkansas, where he was 2-6 with three saves and a 3.66 ERA in 34 games at the time of the trade. He'd limited Texas League hitters to a .223 average and struck out 57 in 46 2/3 innings as part of the Travelers' "closer by committee."
So with Atlanta, will it be Marek the starter or Marek the closer? Stay tuned.
Lisa Winston is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.