SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A defensive whiz who was largely known for his range and all-out playing style coming out of college in 2012, D-backs outfield prospect Evan Marzilli flaunted an exceedingly standout arm last year in his first full professional season.
Gunning down 14 baserunners for Class A Advanced Visalia, the 22-year-old finished second in outfield assists in the California League, just one behind the leader.
Now with the D-backs this spring after the club rewarded him with an invitation to big league camp, Marzilli is relishing the opportunity to work out with another outfielder who has been known to throw out a runner or two on the basepaths.
"Watching Gerardo Parra, that's one of the coolest things about being up here," Marzilli said. "He's one of the best, if not the best, at it in the game. So getting to see a guy like that, and talking to him about what he sees and what he thinks out there, you learn a lot from him."
Parra, a two-time Gold Glove winner, has accumulated 54 outfield assists since breaking into the Majors in 2009. Last year, he led the National League with 15.
Turning into a spectator at times, Marzilli said he has been watching Parra carefully since camp began, trying to pick up anything he can from the D-backs' right fielder.
"He's always so relaxed," Marzilli said. "He's never focused on failure, he's always thinking about getting someone out. He won't sit back on his heels; he's always doing something proactive. It's really cool to see a guy like that in action."
Marzilli, the D-backs' eighth-round Draft pick in 2012, also came on strong at the plate toward the end of the last season, hitting .333 with 10 extra-base hits and 23 RBIs in August, earning Minor League Player of the Month honors. Marzilli hopes to begin the season with Double-A Mobile, but first he's aiming to make a strong impression with the D-backs over the next month.
"I want to make sure the coaches see me and remember me for something," Marzilli said. "I want them to have me in the back of their heads when I leave."
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.