Saturday, January 26, 2013

Starling Marte Edition

Ah, let's take ten from the snow shoveling with a hot toddy and the warm thought of Starling Marté roaming left field:

  • Tom Singer of has a couple of notes on Starling Marté: First, he's had an extremely busy year. From Pirate City to Escogido, his Dominican Winter League team, he played 199 games. Good thing he gets a couple of weeks off before camp. And Singer added that last season Marté "...admitted foolishly trying to play through an injured right oblique, an injury he kept quiet. After confessing and recovering (he did eventually go on the DL in August for three weeks), Marté returned to hit .305 over his final 19 games."
  • Bill James projects Marté to hit .297/.336/.479 with 15 HR, 64 RBI, 82 runs and 31 stolen bases in 2013. ZIPS has him at .264/.310/.428 with 11 homers, 68 RBI, 74 runs and 24 stolen sacks.
  • John Sickels isn't sold on him. "So far, Marté is exactly the player we should expect him to be based on his scouting reports and track record: physically talented, exciting to watch, a fine defender, but with significant flaws that crimp his offensive value. My take is that Marté will scuffle along for another year or two at his current level of inadequate offensive performance (.247/.293/.403 in 2012), then make some adjustments and have a run as a solid hitter in his late 20s."
  • Marté was the third player in Pirates' franchise history to go long in his first at-bat and the first to do it since Don Leppert in 1961. He also became the first Pirate to homer off the first pitch of his major league career since Walter Mueller in 1922, and the 13th MLB player overall to manage that feat. If your memory needs refreshed, Marté did it against Dallas Keuchel at Houston on July 25th.
  • The last NL outfield to have Gold Glovers in left and center was Pittsburgh, with the Barry Bonds and Andy Van Slyke patrolling TRS's pasture from 1990-92. Singer speculates that Marté and Cutch could be the next pair.
  • Marté had a great DWL campaign for league champions Leones del Escogido. In 11 postseason games, Marté batted .422 overall, winning the Playoff MVP Award, and hit .304 in 29 regular-season games.
  • 2011 was his breakout year. While playing for the Altoona Curve, Marté was an Eastern League Mid-Season All-Star and Post-Season All-Star, a Baseball America AA All-Star, a Topps AA All-Star, and a organization All-Star. On August 15, 2011, Marté was named the EL's player of the week. Marté also won the Eastern League Batting Title with a .332 batting average and was named the Eastern League Rookie of the Year. He played in the 2011 All-Star Futures Game. Marté was added to the Pirates 40 man roster on November 18th, 2011. His prospect status soared, and he was ranked #73 on Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects list and #56 on Baseball Prospectus's Top 101 Prospect list, both released in early 2012.
  • Starling Marté was the first graduate of the Pirates' Latin American complex, located in the Dominican Republic, to reach the major leagues. Latin American scouting director Rene Gayo signed Marté in 2007 to an $85,000 bonus.
  • "The player I've always looked up to was Vladimir Guerrero. I followed him, and he's the type of player I wanted to grow up to be," Marté told
  • He grew up in Santo Domingo, and was raised by his grandma after his mom passed away when he was ten.

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