Scouting The G-Braves Opponent: Starling Marte
Photo courtesy of Karl Moore
The No. 4 prospect in the Pittsburgh Pirates system is outfielder Starling Marte. Born in 1988 out of the Dominican Republic, the 6-foot, 2-inch speedster was signed by the Pirates in June, 2007, but he didn’t arrive in the United States until 2009. He is a five-tool player that has become more projectable over the last season since he is beginning to develop his power. The Indianapolis superstar is only starting to find his groove in the game and at the plate, so the Pirates are willing to be patient with him for the time being.
2012 Stats: .266 Batting Average, 36 R, 65 Hits, 12 Doubles, 8 Triples, 5 HR, 34 RBI, 108 TB, 15 SB, .323 OBP, .443 SLG, .766 OPS
Marte has above average speed and can beat out infield hits with regularity. At times, he can be too aggressive at the plate which is a setback to his on-base percentage according to Baseball America.
In 2009, playing in the Double-A, Marte led the Eastern League in batting (.332), hits (178) and doubles (38). He has drawn a great deal of comparisons to Detroit Tiger outfielder and leadoff man Austin Jackson.
His plate discipline has improved over his three years of minor league baseball with the Pittsburgh organization. He is an above-average defensive outfielder with range, but will get better with more time and experience at the higher levels of professional baseball. Marte has an unquestioned passion for the game which is an unmeasurable intangible that makes the difference between a good player and a great player at the next level. He is so good defensively in centerfield that he will push current Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen to one of the corner outfield spots upon his arrival in Pittsburgh. The ceiling is extremely high for yet another Pittsburgh Pirates five-tool outfield prospect.
By: Tony Piraro