What prospect status Stephen Marek might have had when he was acquired from the Angels along with Mark Teixeira has probably evaporated after his incredibly disappointing 2009 season. Fighting through injuries and ineffectiveness all season, he failed to follow up on his promising showing in last year's Arizona Fall League.
Tossing 45 innings across two levels, he walked 36 batters at an astounding rate of 7.2 per nine innings. He's still a fireballer with good stuff, and it can't hurt that he was seen as a potential late-inning reliever prior to the '09 campaign, but you almost find yourself hoping he was pitching hurt because at least that would explain some of the massive wildness issues. The other unfortunate fact for Marek is that he's already 26, which means the future is now. Either he gets himself healthy and gets his act together by the spring, or he's going to be permanently relegated to the lost cause bin.
The bottom line: Looked like he could join the likes of Craig Kimbrel and Cory Gearrin in the Braves' bullpen youth brigade, but his 2009 season was an unmitigated disaster.