Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte could always do several things very well. He can flat out hit, which he showed by winning the Eastern League Double-A batting title in 2011. He has always been quick as a deer, and has a strong arm to go with his excellent defense in center field.
When we saw him, it was easy to tell that the kid will be a big leaguer, we just were always puzzled as to how good he could become. The ceiling is way up there, for certain. The power was something that concerned us.
But guess what he did in Altoona? You know the answer, but we will sing his praises anyway. Marte added that power to his game. He hit twelve homers, he added 38 doubles and eight triples for an even .500 slugging.
Sounds incredible, right?
A prospect is rarely perfect, but Marte might be the closest thing the Pirates have on the position player side. Today he was named to the Top 10 outfield prospect list by Jonathan Mayo - joining first baseman Alex Dickerson, who was named to the 1B list last week.
The one thing that sucks for Marte is his nearly four percent walk rate. His nearly 19% strike out rate in Altoona was a major improvement on his career history.
Marte is exciting. He could really flourish this season at AAA. Each time he was told to focus on a specific area in the past, that area has improved. It’s downright scary to think that Starling Marte isn’t a finished product.
It won’t be long until he will be proving it to everyone at PNC Park.