The Pittsburgh Pirates have some talent on the way. None closer than their 2011 Eastern League batting champ, Starling Marte. The hyper-talented Marte looks like he is getting closer and closer to putting on the black and gold, especially since he is having a strong month of June during his first AAA stint at Indianapolis,.
The knock on Marte has always been his patience at the plate, particularly being attracted to the soft stuff outside the strike zone. Now at AAA Indianapolis, Marte has come alive against the soft stuff.
He doesn’t always catch up to it, which shows in the 66 strikeouts he has totaled to date (against just 19 walks). But Marte has a .919 OPS in the month of June, with four homers, five triples, and six doubles to go with 25 strikeouts, while working nine walks. He continues to flash the leather in the outfield, maintaining his status as the best defender in the Pirates system.
But his hot month at the plate, after such a poor May in which he hit .236 with two homers and a tiny .656OPS, is what is making the Bucs brass smile as they reach for their Ray Bans.
The solidly built, 6’2″ center fielder crushed a changeup last night for a three-run bomb. He plated two more runs later in the game with a double, giving him 27 runs batted in….this month.
In his past ten games he has struckout ten times and walked four, driving his OPS to 1.070 with a .682 slugging thanks to three doubles, two triples, and three bombs. Marte is playing like a game changer.
And, if his bat stays hot, he might be changing games in Pittsburgh in the near future.