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Starling Marte

Posted: 01/09/2013 10:41 AM

Starling Marte 


Is dominating...

http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/01/winter-lea gues-recap-marte-marte-marte.html
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Posted: 01/09/2013 11:23 AM

RE: Starling Marte 


I think he's going to be a monster this year. I would sign him up to a long term contract right now before he explodes. He's the type of player that would be most likely to sign a long term deal at a team friendly price because he wasn't a high draft pick that got a huge signing bonus out of the draft. He got an 85k signing bonus and who knows how much of that went to buscones. If you were to throw 30 million dollars at him you could probably have him signed for the next 10 years.
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Posted: 01/09/2013 6:45 PM

RE: Starling Marte 


Signing Marte to a long term deal this early in his career would be a risky move, but one that could easily become a masterstroke.  The Rays did it with Evan Longoria, of course, but he was---I think it's fair to say---more of a sure thing than Marte is.  I'd still be inclined to wait until the end of the current season.  Although a multiyear deal at that point would cost more, I want to be sure he's not going to get tied up in knots once pitchers start to figure him out.  He's got all the ability in the world and I think it is very likely that he will become an even better player than McCutchen, but there is also a greater risk of more bumps in the road with Marte because he is still so raw in so many ways.  He could be scary good, though.  I could see him being the first player since Curtis Granderson and Jimmy Rollins in 2007 to have 20 doubles, 20 triples, and 20 home runs in the same season.  BTW, only seven players in all of major league history have ever gone 20-20-20.


Then there's the 20-20-20-20 Club, which has only four members.  Again, Granderson and Rollins were the last to do it.  If Marte can harness his ability, I predict that he will join this Club.  All in all this is one of the lesser known statistical achievements in major league baseball, but to my mind one of the greatest and most exclusive.  


There is a good article on Wikipedia about the "20-20-20 Club", and I've tried repeatedly to post a link to it, but the link won't paste properly to this page for some reason.  Yinz can find the article easily enough, though, either by googling it or by going to Wikipedia and using the search term "20-20-20 Club".

Last edited 01/09/2013 7:32 PM by williamjpellas

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Posted: 01/09/2013 7:03 PM

Re: Starling Marte 


Better than Cutch would be a stretch. Cutch put up a year last year that was MVP caliber and I see him as only getting better. Marte does have the tools to do it and if he can clear the stolen base hurdle that Cutch has not then he could be a more complete player. There is no logical reason why Cutch is not a consistent 30 SB guy.
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Posted: 01/09/2013 7:37 PM

Re: Starling Marte 



abitoutside wrote: Better than Cutch would be a stretch. Cutch put up a year last year that was MVP caliber and I see him as only getting better. Marte does have the tools to do it and if he can clear the stolen base hurdle that Cutch has not then he could be a more complete player. There is no logical reason why Cutch is not a consistent 30 SB guy.

This is how I see it, as well, particularly the part about Marte having "the tools to...be a more complete player".  That's very well said.  As for Cutch and his incomprehensible inability to turn his outstanding raw footspeed into "plus" basestealing, I give up.  Rather than continue to be frustrated by an inexplicable flaw in what is otherwise an outstanding all-around skillset, I'll just take his four-to-four-and-a-half-tool game and be happy. It's still a bit of a shame, I guess, because as good as he is, he could absolutely be even better if he added 30 to 40 or even 50 steals every year, and he absolutely has the necessary athleticism.  But there's a lot more to successful basestealing than pure speed, and some guys just are what they are, and when what they are is as good as McCutchen is....well, maybe we should just accept that he is what he is and be grateful and try to build around him from here.

Last edited 01/09/2013 7:38 PM by williamjpellas

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Posted: 01/09/2013 7:40 PM

RE: Starling Marte 


I think McCutchen will become a better basestealer in time. Doing so would make him a better hitter as teams would be far less likely to give him a free pass if he can steal second and get into scoring position.
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Posted: 01/09/2013 7:49 PM

RE: Starling Marte 



katoy2j wrote: I think McCutchen will become a better basestealer in time. Doing so would make him a better hitter as teams would be far less likely to give him a free pass if he can steal second and get into scoring position.


I quite agree with the second half of your statement, though I am surprised to hear you---as a hardcore sabremetrician---say it.  Yes, absolutely, teams would be less likely to pitch around McCutchen and risk walking him if doing so meant you'd essentially be giving him a double more often than not.  It is for reasons like this that I am such a big advocate of an all-around, multi-threat, versatile approach to offense in baseball.  The more pressure you can put on the opposing team, and the more weapons you have with which to pressure them, the better.  Small ball, home runs, stealing bases, whatever.  Throw the kitchen sink at 'em, every single game.  


But I think McCutchen has had more than enough "time" to learn the craft of becoming a better basestealer.  He now has three and a half seasons under his belt, and he is now a young veteran, and while he is just hitting his physical peak, he is getting worse at swiping bags, not better.  If he were truly interested in mastering this part of the game, he would already have done so, or at least, he would be a lot further along.  


Like I said, I give up.  Better to take the parts of his game that he does well---which is almost everything else except basestealing---and help him get even better at all of that, than to try and make him eat his vegetables.  Some kids just won't do it no matter what, and that's all there is to it.  Same with Andrew and stealing bases.  Okay, let's move on from here.

Last edited 01/09/2013 7:52 PM by williamjpellas

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Posted: 01/09/2013 9:01 PM

RE: Starling Marte 


I wouldn't worry too much about it. He's still 72% for his career so it's not like he has to improve very much. A small marginal improvement and he's golden. I think he'll have a couple more 30 stolen base seasons in him.
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Posted: 01/09/2013 9:24 PM

RE: Starling Marte 



williamjpellas wrote:
katoy2j wrote: I think McCutchen will become a better basestealer in time. Doing so would make him a better hitter as teams would be far less likely to give him a free pass if he can steal second and get into scoring position.


I quite agree with the second half of your statement, though I am surprised to hear you---as a hardcore sabremetrician---say it.  Yes, absolutely, teams would be less likely to pitch around McCutchen and risk walking him if doing so meant you'd essentially be giving him a double more often than not.  It is for reasons like this that I am such a big advocate of an all-around, multi-threat, versatile approach to offense in baseball.  The more pressure you can put on the opposing team, and the more weapons you have with which to pressure them, the better.  Small ball, home runs, stealing bases, whatever.  Throw the kitchen sink at 'em, every single game.  


But I think McCutchen has had more than enough "time" to learn the craft of becoming a better basestealer.  He now has three and a half seasons under his belt, and he is now a young veteran, and while he is just hitting his physical peak, he is getting worse at swiping bags, not better.  If he were truly interested in mastering this part of the game, he would already have done so, or at least, he would be a lot further along.  


Like I said, I give up.  Better to take the parts of his game that he does well---which is almost everything else except basestealing---and help him get even better at all of that, than to try and make him eat his vegetables.  Some kids just won't do it no matter what, and that's all there is to it.  Same with Andrew and stealing bases.  Okay, let's move on from here.
It's not too late.  He's 25 and stop making this a character issue.  The kid has done nothing but work his butt off.  Aside from last season he was fine and he should have had 2 more bags if it wasn't for blown calls.
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Posted: 01/09/2013 9:43 PM

RE: Starling Marte 


In no way did I "(make) this a character issue".  I never said that or meant it to be implied or inferred from what I did say.  I would say, however, that there is more than "blown calls" to a player of McCutchen's youth and exceptional physical gifts getting worse at stealing bases and not better.  


Andrew McCutchen is a very good all around major league baseball player.  That is obvious.  He is also not very good at stealing bases considering his youth and raw footspeed. That is also obvious.  He still succeeds in stealing some bases, sure.  But his percentage last season was just over 60%, 20 out of 32. That is mediocre at best.  His career mark of 72% is not terrible, certainly, but again, he's trending in the wrong direction, not only in terms of his percentage but also in terms of raw number of steals.  


Given that there is no information of which I am aware or that is otherwise available in the public realm that indicates he is any kind of "problem" in the clubhouse or insubordinate or a prima donna---any of which would be a character issue---well, then: I conclude that he is simply not particularly interested in stealing bases.  Just not his thing, or something that he is particularly interested in or motivated to improve.  Okay, whatever.  Let's take what he does do well---which is almost everything else---and help him get even better at those aspects of the game and stop waiting and hoping for him to do something that he evidently doesn't really want to do in the first place.  That is all I am saying here.

Last edited 01/09/2013 9:47 PM by williamjpellas

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Posted: 01/10/2013 11:32 AM

RE: Starling Marte 



williamjpellas wrote: In no way did I "(make) this a character issue".  I never said that or meant it to be implied or inferred from what I did say.  I would say, however, that there is more than "blown calls" to a player of McCutchen's youth and exceptional physical gifts getting worse at stealing bases and not better.  


Andrew McCutchen is a very good all around major league baseball player.  That is obvious.  He is also not very good at stealing bases considering his youth and raw footspeed. That is also obvious.  He still succeeds in stealing some bases, sure.  But his percentage last season was just over 60%, 20 out of 32. That is mediocre at best.  His career mark of 72% is not terrible, certainly, but again, he's trending in the wrong direction, not only in terms of his percentage but also in terms of raw number of steals.  


Given that there is no information of which I am aware or that is otherwise available in the public realm that indicates he is any kind of "problem" in the clubhouse or insubordinate or a prima donna---any of which would be a character issue---well, then: I conclude that he is simply not particularly interested in stealing bases.  Just not his thing, or something that he is particularly interested in or motivated to improve.  Okay, whatever.  Let's take what he does do well---which is almost everything else---and help him get even better at those aspects of the game and stop waiting and hoping for him to do something that he evidently doesn't really want to do in the first place.  That is all I am saying here.
"Not interested" is not the only possible conclusion to draw from his slight lack of success in base-stealing. And "not interested" in living up to talent level is most certainly a character issue.  There isn't any logic in jumping to that.
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Posted: 01/10/2013 12:13 PM

RE: Starling Marte 


I wouldn't call it a character issue.  You were a collegiate football player, BAM, so maybe this analogy will help.  Let's say that there was a fullback on your team who was really, REALLY good at carrying the ball on handoffs and who was also a good blocker.  The coaching staff looks at him and says, wow, he's all-conference already just by being good at running and blocking---what if we could use him as a pass-catcher, as well?  But, after two offseason training camps and numerous attempts to use him as a pass-catcher in games, guess what?  He's not only not getting better at catching the ball, he's getting worse, and for whatever unknown reason, he just doesn't seem to really be totally invested in getting better at that one skill. 


Okay, what now?  Do you 1) insist that he and the team continue to invest time, energy, and resources into "forcing" him to catch passes, or do you 2) take what he is already really good at, and build from there, and get a scatback to be the pass-catcher?  I would say that in most cases, you'd choose the second option.  I know I would. 

 

Not everything is perfectly explainable or reducible to one's and zeroe's.  Some things are a mystery, and baseball is full of them.  Why does a four-A player like Buddy Biancalana get to play in a World Series, but all-time great Ernie Banks never makes it?  Why is a merely faster-than-average Nate McLouth an elite basestealer in terms of percentage (before his legs gave out, that is), but much faster Andrew McCutchen is not nearly as good?  Some of it is technique.  Some of it is motivation.  Some of it is that some guys "just have a knack" or perhaps some sort of possibly innate skill at this or that aspect of the game.  Some of it is a mystery. 

 

 

Again, let me be perfectly clear: I am not saying that this is a character issue on Andrew's part.  If I were saying that, I would say it directly and clearly and I would stand behind what I said.

Last edited 01/10/2013 12:20 PM by williamjpellas

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Posted: 01/10/2013 1:25 PM

RE: Starling Marte 


I still think Marte looks a lot like Eric Davis at the plate. Now I dont think he will put up Davis type numbers, but body wise and demeanor he reminds me of Davis.

I am torn on Marte. I really hope he does well but I dont think he will ever be an all-star. I think he can be a very effective player though.
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Posted: 01/15/2013 8:43 AM

RE: Starling Marte 


I am really optimistic in the potential in Marte, and hopes he gets a full season this year in the Majors.

I was rather surprised in the Basball America listiong of Top 10 Pirate prospects that under the projected lineup Marte isn't even included.  I thought that was strange as he appers to be an above average OF
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Posted: 01/15/2013 8:53 AM

RE: Starling Marte 


He no longer has prospect eligibility as he has too many at bats at the major league level
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Posted: 01/15/2013 9:01 AM

RE: Starling Marte 


It wasn't the Top 10 rankings but rather The 2016 Projected lineup.  With the lineup projecting that Polanco and Josh Bell as the corner OFS.  Hopefully Marte makes an impact this season and Pirates break that elusive .500 mark.  I think the Pirates will be a very interesting team to follow this upcoming season.
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Posted: 01/15/2013 11:25 AM

RE: Starling Marte 


I don't think that is any indictment on Marte as much as it is about the potential of Polanco and Bell. Marte is a surer thing because he's already in the majors however the upsides of Polanco and Bell are enormous. It's a projection issue really.

Polanco is a five tool player. He's a guy who put up a .325/.388/.522 line last year. Andrew McCutchen put up a .327/.400/.553 line last year so the numbers are pretty similar. Granted McCutchen did it in the majors and nobody is saying Polanco will be as good as McCutchen however he has the ability to be.

Bell has incredible raw power. He's farther away than Polanco but has the kind of tools that guys like former elite prospects such as Giancarlo Stanton, Wil Myers and others have. He could be a 40 homer player in the majors. Again it's projection so there are no guarantees but the key to winning through drafting and developing is to draft and sign prospects with superstar ceilings. Some won't work out but some will.

This is my belief and nobody in the organization has ever discussed this but I truly believe that Josh Bell will be moved to first base. I'm high on Marte as the guy is a supremely physically talented player. His one problem has been his ability to be a free swinger and not draw walks. Thus teams just started throwing him junk outside the plate and let Marte get himself out. I normally don't care much for winter league stats but it is encouraging to see Marte drawing more walks. If he can translate that to the major league level he will be a superstar caliber player and he and McCutchen could be pushing each other for dominance as the teams best player. If he doesn't improve the walks issue he will still be a solid player, just not a superstar.
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Posted: 01/15/2013 12:25 PM

RE: Starling Marte 


Marte has a shot at 20-20 in 2013.  The homers will be tougher for him than the stolen bases.  I'd guess 17 HRs, 28 SB, with a batting average in the .250-.260 range, then he will improve on those numbers in 2014.

I don't think he'll ever match Eric Davis SB numbers (80 high in '86).  37 HR in '87 won't be easy to match either - but Marte will be exciting for years to come.  His arm will likely become legendary.

Davis pretty much broke down at age 29.  His 1998 (age 36) year was likely enhanced by some now illegal substance.

Last edited 01/15/2013 12:32 PM by Sangue

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Posted: 01/15/2013 1:39 PM

RE: Starling Marte 



Sangue wrote: Marte has a shot at 20-20 in 2013.  The homers will be tougher for him than the stolen bases.  I'd guess 17 HRs, 28 SB, with a batting average in the .250-.260 range, then he will improve on those numbers in 2014.

I don't think he'll ever match Eric Davis SB numbers (80 high in '86).  37 HR in '87 won't be easy to match either - but Marte will be exciting for years to come.  His arm will likely become legendary.

Davis pretty much broke down at age 29.  His 1998 (age 36) year was likely enhanced by some now illegal substance.


I think your projection for Marte in his first full season in Pittsburgh is probably pretty close.  He will also add some absolute lasers on throws from the outfield.  The only question for me is whether he will be one of those real toolsy guys who does amazing things but only does them intermittently because he never nails down the finer points of the game from a professional standpoint, or whether he will add just the right mix of patience to temper his aggression and physical gifts.  If he does the latter, he will be a superstar.
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