First Pitch: When Will Starling Marte Be Ready?

First Pitch: When Will Starling Marte Be Ready?

Starling Marte had a huge month of June. The Pittsburgh Pirates' top hitting prospect finished the month with a .325/.385/.558 line in 120 at-bats. His strikeout rate was 23% and his walk rate was 7%. A lot of that was due to his strong finish to the month over his final ten games. In those ten games, Marte went 18-for-43 (.419) with a 1.259 OPS. That was enough to bring his month-long OPS from .769 to .944.

The strong hitting by the top prospect has already raised the question: when should Starling Marte be called up? That question gets more attention with the struggles at the major league level by Alex Presley and Jose Tabata. The Pirates could use a hitter with Marte's upside. But the move will only work if Marte plays to that upside.

I've already mentioned many times that the decision to promote Marte should be based only on Marte. Looking at Marte as short-term help is sacrificing his long term potential. Marte is one of the few long term offensive pieces the Pirates have in the...

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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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