David Marchbanks completed his eligibility at South Carolina in 2004 and Mauldin High School in 2000 as one of the most decorated pitchers in both school’s storied history. For his efforts he was selected in the 7th round by the Florida Marlins and quickly found himself in Double-A. After a short bout with shoulder tendonitis prompted his release from the Marlins, the 23-year old now finds himself healthy and looking for a new organization. One of the game’s nicest guys and fiercest competitors, “Chief” took some time with Diamond Prospects to discuss awards, Omaha, injuries and the optimism he has that his career will get back on track.
DP-Please list any college statistics of importance, awards won:
DM-Dean’s list 2000 & 2001, 2000 Newcomer of the Fall, 2003: SEC Pitcher of the Year, Second in the nation in wins (15), First team All-SEC, First team All-American, District IV Player of the Year, Drafted by the Florida Marlins in the Seventh Round.
DP-Please list any major high school accolades:
DM-2000: Region 1 AAAA All-Region team, Statewide Player of the Year, Mr. Baseball, North/South Game MVP, AAAA State Championship Team.
DP-What is your greatest high school thrill?
DM-Winning the State Championship my senior year over Richland Northeast. There aren’t many players that can walk off the field for the last time in high school with a State Title and that is something I am very proud of.
DP-What is your greatest thrill, or two, beyond high school?
DM-Winning two games in one day against 8th ranked Mississippi State. I started the last three innings of a suspended game and got the win for that game, we had a 45-minute break and I started the second game and pitched eight innings and got the win for that game. It was the first time since 1974 a USC pitcher got two wins in one day.
DP-Who are the three toughest hitters you ever faced?
DM-Khalil Greene (Clemson), Aaron Hill (LSU) and Wes Moyer (UNC).
DP-What was your toughest adjustment after high school?
DM-Definitely learning how to pitch. In high school I was pretty much just a thrower and I got guys out just by throwing hard and didn’t really have much for an off-speed pitch. When I went to college, I was facing much smarter and better hitters in the SEC, so I had to learn how to throw all of my pitches for strikes and pitch according to situations.
DP-What is the biggest crowd you’ve ever performed in front of and where?
DM-When I pitched against Nebraska in the 2002 College World Series. It was in front of about 30,000 fans that looked like a sea of red. It was, by far, the most hyper and intense environment I have ever pitched in.
DP-In one sentence, describe the experience of playing in the College World Series:
DM-It was an experience I’ll cherish and be proud of for the rest of my life.
DP-Who has made the greatest impression on you as a person and why?
DM-I would have to say my dad, because he has been there for me through thick and thin. He has always supported me and helped me through the tough times and showed me how to live my life with character. He also showed me the value of hard work and being dedicated to everything you strive for in life. He’s been the most positive influence in my life and he’s definitely someone I’ll always look to.
DP-Who has made the greatest impression on you as a baseball player and why?
DM-Ben Waddle, Ray Tanner and Jerry Meyers. Coach Waddle brought me along in high school and taught me how to carry myself on and off the field. Coach Tanner is one of the fairest and toughest men I’ve ever known. I loved playing for him and he’s a person I’ll always admire and respect. Coach Meyers taught me how to be a complete pitcher and taught me how to be successful in college.
DP-Who is your favorite athlete (non-baseball)?
DM-Michael Jordan, he single handedly dominated the NBA and was a player that every kid looked up to.
DP-Who is your favorite MLB pitcher and position player and why?
DM-Roger Clemens, one of the most dominant pitcher’s ever. He’s unbelievably competitive, tough and has an amazing work ethic. Todd Helton, he’s a great hitter, plays the game the way it should be played and has achieved all of his success the right way.
DP-Who is your favorite MLB team?
DP-What is your favorite sport to play other than baseball?
DM-I love to play golf. It’s a great way to relax and have a good time with your buddies off the field.
DP-What is your favorite sport to watch other than baseball?
DM-I love college football. There’s nothing better than a Saturday of tailgating and watching South Carolina football.
DP-What goals do you have for yourself in and out of baseball?
DM-I am going to keep working hard and hopefully that will one day get me to the Major Leagues. Out of baseball I want to eventually get into Commercial Real Estate back home in Greenville.
DP-If you could have dinner with three people in history, who would they be and why?
DM-Bear Bryant, he is the best football coach of all-time and always got the most out of his players. Nolan Ryan, he is my childhood hero and I have always admired the way he went about his business and the way he pitched. Muhammad Ali, one of the most significant sports figure of all-time and is a man that stood up for what he believed in and didn’t care what anyone thought.
DP-Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
DM-I see myself pitching in the Major Leagues.
DP-Your thoughts on what Diamond Prospects can do for kids in South Carolina versus when you came through the prep ranks?
DM-In my opinion, any way a player can get exposure to scouts and recruiters is a great thing. Also, if a player is serious about playing in college or professionally, he needs to educate himself as much as possible about both the recruiting process and the draft. Diamond Prospects can help players do both of these things in order to put them in the best possible situation for both, the college and pro level.
DP-Give a high school player who is reading this article one piece of advice.
DM-Play the game as hard as you can and have fun because your high school glory days will pass you by in a hurry. Don’t worry about your personal accomplishments and just focus on helping your team win games. If you do everything in your power to help your team win, then the personal achievements will come.
DP-Chief, Thanks for your responses. Your track record should earn you another shot, best of luck finding the right situation.