The wait is over, Starling Marte will join the Pittsburgh Pirates today in Houston.
“He might hit .600, hit might hit sixty,” said Neal Huntington on the Fan Morning Show yesterday
Not exactly a strong statement of confidence, but nonetheless, Marte is the best position player the Pirates have in their farm system. The 23-year old hit .286 with 12 bombs and drove in 61 in his 98 games at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Marte was signed back in January of 2007 by Rene Gayo, and is the first player from the Bucs Latin American Academy to join the big leagues. Where he will hit in Clint Hurdle’s lineup is the only big question remaining for us.
We saw him working hard on plate awareness in spring training, including this tantalizing video of him waiting for a pitch from Brad Lincoln.
The delay in calling up Marte – and the comments by the Pirates brass – tell us there is some question about him being ready for prime time. We’ve heard that they know he is going to chase, but they want to be able to limit the amount of times he does it. They’ve also said there are times on defense when he looks timid at the corner outfield positions, resembling a player that has played center field all of his life.
It’s believed he will play left field. Although he doesn’t profile as a top of the order guy, it’s hard to imagine a lineup where he doesn’t hit first. Who would the Pirates move there? Drew Sutton? Clint Barmes?
Who cares. It’s time to wind it up, let’s see what he can do.
It’s Marte time.