Starling Marte To Play Center Field In 2017?
Will the Pittsburgh Pirates have a new center fielder in 2017?
This offseason has had a variety of story-lines for the Pittsburgh Pirates. One of the biggest has been rather or not Andrew McCutchen would remain in center field, or would he be replaced by Starling Marte? Well, we may have an answer.
According to MLB Dominicana, Starling Marte will be the Pirates’ center fielder in 2017. Hopefully, this will prove to be true.
During the 2016 season Andrew McCutchen was the worst defensive center fielder in all of baseball. His center field defense had been regressing for a few years, however, it hit rock bottom in 2016. This was evident by his -28 defensive runs saved (DRS) in 2016.
Defensively, Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte could not be any different. Starling Marte has won back-to-back Gold Glove Awards in left field. Additionally, he has more outfield assists than any other outfielder in baseball since the start of the 2015 season.
While, yes, Andrew McCutchen is a former Gold Glove Award winner in center field (for the 2012 season), he is no longer that player defensively. Additionally, McCutchen never should have won the award to begin with. The main reason he won it was due to his name and offensive output.
As I have said before, the Pirates’ best defensive outfield would be with Starling Marte in center field. Additionally, Andrew McCutchen should be in right field with Gregory Polanco in left field. This is due to the left field at PNC Park being the most difficult one to navigate defensively in all of Major League Baseball.
Due to this, the Pirates need an athletic left fields. And while, yes, Andrew McCutchen is a good athlete, at this point of their careers Gregory Polanco is simply much better. Not only is Polanco more athletic, he is the far superior defensive player.
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Hopefully, Starling Marte is in center field for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2017. According to MLB Dominicana, he will be. Let’s hope this report proves to be true.
Odds are, we will not know until at least the start of Spring Training if Marte is moved to center field or not. But for now, Pirate fans can hope this report is correct.