Starling Marte has climbed steadily through the Pittsburgh Pirates system. During his various stops in the minor leagues we were always in awe of his talent from a lanky youngster to a first Major League at-bat homerun clubbing rookien–Marte has always impressed us.
He continued to impress in spring training last season and to think we will see him again this weekend live and in person is pretty exciting.
All along the way the Marte Partay (TM: McEffect) has collected his fair share of various hardware for his outstanding display of talent. An article today by R.J. Anderson at Baseball Prospectus hits the nail on the head about Marte.
Certainly, Marte is one of the numerous question marks on the 2013 Pirates roster. Especially considering that he will hit atop the Pirates lineup. Is it a way to force him to improve his plate discipline? And an even bigger gamble–will it work? Anderson notes that Marte’s strikeout rate increased each month in his rookie season with the Pirates. He also notes that trying to make judgements based on three months of statistics is also a bit ridiculous.
We chose to look at his offseason work in winter ball, where Marte was named MVP in the Dominican Series. But Anderson doesn’t mention that and focused on Major League numbers. That’s fair, I guess. Especially the information Anderson provides about Marte seeing more fastballs during the final month of the season.
We wanted to see even more of Marte as the season fell into the Allegheny, but I guess the Bucs didn’t want to push the rookie as he did have a muscle pull or something. If Marte can remain healthy, his defense, strong arm and speed on the bases will provide the Bucs with plenty to be proud about–when his bat comes around, watch out. Anderson points out some young players that improved their plate discipline and it’s easy to see Marte doing the same–although we doubt that we will see drastic improvement.
The bottom line is Marte will be better in 2013, he is already off to a solid start.