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Rockies minor leaguer Marc Magliaro keeps fighting for his pro career

Marc Magliaro is keeping a positive attitude as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery.

Steve Granado

The odds are against Marc Magliaro, but try telling him that.

Magliaro is a name that has been in the Colorado Rockies organization since 2013. Throughout the years since then, he has faced many obstacles along the way. To start, he didn’t actually get drafted out of college. A successful shortstop at NCAA Division III Rowan University, Magliaro knew that if he wanted to make it to the show, he’d have to make some changes. Converting from a shortstop to a pitcher wasn’t exactly the route he had hoped to take, but he knew pitching would be his ticket in. During the winter after he graduated, he was able to get a workout with a few different teams. The Rockies saw potential from him on the mound and from there he was signed as a free agent as a right-handed pitcher.

From going undrafted, to switching roles on the field and later getting signed by the Rockies, you could say he was feeling pretty lucky. Magliaro had a successful first season with the Tri-City Dust Devils, the Rockies’ previous Northwest League affiliate before the Boise Hawks, and posted a 3.90 ERA including 24 strikeouts in 30 innings. In 2014 he struggled with an oblique injury and was placed with the rookie-level Grand Junction Rockies after starting the season in Low-A Asheville.

The disappointment only grew the following season, when Magliaro experienced what no pitcher wants to experience: the painful elbow pop. It was confirmed he needed to undergo Tommy John surgery and sat out all of 2015.

You would think his feeling of luck would have disappeared at this point, but that’s not the case.

At 26 going into his fourth year of pro ball and already having Tommy John surgery, Magliaro is a longshot in terms of ever reaching the big leagues. Showing up for the 2016 season with the Hawks and having nothing but a smile on his face, it makes you wonder what keeps this kid so positive.

But to Magliaro, age is just a number.

“I know in my head mentally and physically I can play this game and I’m not the type of person to just quit when things go wrong,” Magliaro said in a recent conversation. He’s fortunate to have received words of encouragement from people who have been in his position.

“I mean, some guys in the organization have helped me mentally. Tyler Anderson, he’s in the big leagues, he helped me through this,” Magliaro said. Anderson has dealt with injuries during nearly every season of his pro career, which started back in 2011. But he’s shining at the highest level now, giving hope to players like Magliaro.

Getting the backing from key people in the Rockies organization, along with immense support from family, friends and faith, Magliaro is proving that mentality and gratitude are the driving forces towards staying on a good path.

In his last 10 appearances, Magliaro owns an 0.77 ERA with nine strikeouts and just two walks in 11 2/3 innings, suggesting that path could finally result in him beginning his move up the ladder with the Rockies.