Pittsburgh Pirates: Starling Marte Set to Return to PNC Park

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With the Miami Marlins ready to come to town for a four-game weekend series, former Pittsburgh Pirates star Starling Marte is preparing for his return to PNC Park

One of the staple players for the Pittsburgh Pirates during their 2013 – 2015 postseason run was left fielder Starling Marte. After having a great eight season run with the Pirates, Marte was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in February 2020. Now, he is preparing for his return to PNC Park.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic shortened season in 2020, Marte never had an opportunity to play against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Diamondbacks traded Marte to the Miami Marlins in August, but with the Pirates only playing NL and AL Central clubs, they did not play the D-Backs or Marlins last season.

So far this season Marte is off to a strong start with the Marlins. Through his first 87 plate appearances this season he is hitting for a .319/.425/.543 slash line to go with a 168 wRC+, an ISO of .222 and 4 stolen bases.

Across eight seasons Marte accumulated 3986 PAs with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Donning the Black and Gold, Marte hit for a .287/.341/.452 slash line to go with a 116 wRC+. He hit 108 home runs, 192 doubles, 42 triples and stole 239 bases. During both the 2015 and 2016 seasons Marte took home the NL Gold Glove Award for left fielders.

Marte also hit one of the bigger home runs in recent Pirate history when he hit a go-ahead home run in the top of the 9th inning against the Cubs on September 23, 2013, to give the Pirates the lead on their way to winning the game and clinching their first postseason berth since 1992.

When the Pirates traded Marte to the Diamondbacks they received two prospects in return. These prospects were shortstop

Liover Peguero

and starting pitcher

Brennan Malone

. Since joining the Pirate organization both have shot up prospect boards with both becoming consensus top 10 organizational prospects.

In addition to being a top 10 organizational prospect, Peguero appears to be on his way to becoming a consensus top 100 prospect in all of baseball. While the Marte trade may have been a hard pill for fans to swallow, it is one that appears to be on its way to giving the Pirates a huge return.

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Marte is one of the most gifted and best all-around players in Pirate history. During his eight season run with the Pittsburgh Pirates the talented outfielder was multi-time All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner. Due to Marte’s contributions to the Pirates he deserves to be met with nothing but cheers and applause this weekend.