Only Starling Marte Days Until The Start Of Spring Training
For the Pittsburgh Pirates, pitchers and catchers will report to Bradenton in five days. This means the start of Spring Training is just Starling Marte (6) days away.
After a long, miserable, baseball-less winter, the wait is almost over. In just five days Pittsburgh Pirate pitchers and catchers will report to Bradenton. Due to this, Spring Training begins in just six days. This makes Spring Training just Starling Marte days away.
Slowly but surely, Starling Marte is becoming one of the most underappreciated players in all of baseball. Since debuting in July of 2012 Marte has always been one of the best defensive players in all of baseball. However, in recent years his offense has also become a threat.
Starling Marte owns a career .289/.345/.447/.792 slash line to go along with a .345 wOBA, 121 wRC+, a .158 ISO, and 160 career stolen bases. He has accumulated these numbers over the course of 2,455 career plate appearances in 599 games played. His career WAR of 17.9 averages him out to being a 5 WAR player over the course of a 162 game season.
However, Marte’s offensive prowess has really begun to take off the past three seasons. Since the start of the 2014 season Marte has slashed .296/.351/.450/.801 with a .348 wOBA, 123 wRC+, and a .155 ISO. He has also stolen 107 bases during this stretch.
In 2016 Starling Marte posted career highs in batting average (.311), on-base percentage (.362), and slugging percentage (.456). Furthermore, his 47 stolen bases were a career high and his 19.7 percent strikeout rate was the second lowest of his career.
For his efforts in the 2016 campaign Starling Marte was rewarded with his first career All-Star appearance. He also won his second consecutive Gold Glove Award. Marte also finished second in the Major League’s in outfield assists for a second consecutive season.
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In 2017, Starling Marte will play a new position. He will be in center field, while Andrew McCutchen shifts to right field, and Gregory Polanco slides over to left field.
Despite the new position, I still expect Marte to be among the best defensive players in all of baseball in 2017. I also expect him to continue to improve as an offensive player. And this will all begin in just six days.