Winter Leagues Recap: Notes on Starling Marte

Starling Marte’s Winter League season is likely over. The Pirates had mentioned recently that they would shut him down so he gets rest before Spring Training. He didn’t play in last night’s game and with the Dominican Winter League now taking off the next two days for their All-Star game, Marte will be in Altoona by Wednesday night as part of the Pirates Winter Caravan tour. Marte went 0-for-8 during his last two games, but he was on hot streak prior to that, which led him to two consecutive DWL Player of the Week awards for the weeks of Nov 20-26 and Nov 27-Dec 3.

On the DWL season, Marte played 29 games, going 34-for-112 at the plate, with four doubles, four triples, two homers and twenty RBI’s. He had a .304/.381/.464 line, giving him the team lead among regulars in all three of those categories. Marte already had quite a busy regular season between his time with the Pirates and in the minors. He played 147 games, with a combined 618 plate appearances before starting his Winter League schedule.

The possible upside of Marte’s season ending, is the fact it now opens up playing time for the team’s backup center fielder, Gregory Polanco. He had started just one game over the last four weeks, prior to manning center field last night for Leones del Escogido. Polanco batted ninth and had some rust at the plate, going 0-for-5, with two strikeouts. On the year, he is 6-for-35 in 13 games, with two doubles, one RBI and a 0/11 BB/K ratio.

Anderson Hernandez went 1-for-4, with a run scored. He has been batting lead-off the last two games, his fifth different spot in the lineup this DWL season. Hernandez also committed his sixth error of the year, a costly one that led to an eight run top of the ninth inning, as his team tried to close out a 5-1 game. Hernandez was a runner-up in the DWL Player of the Week voting last week, finishing in third place behind Marte.

In Venezuela, Ryan Reid threw a scoreless inning of relief work. He allowed a single and recorded three groundball outs. In 15.2 innings this year, Reid has struck out 15 batters and has posted an amazing 5.00 GO/AO ratio.

The Australian Baseball League in off until Thursday. In the meantime, we have an interview with 16-year-old Sam Kennelly, one of the prize signings of this year’s July 2nd signing class for the Pirates. He has the fifth highest reported bonus  for a Pirates player this year, the first season with an International Bonus cap in place. That interview can be read here.

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John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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Winter Leagues Update: Howard Wins Player of the Week

  • japple2298

    Marte is due at the Pirate Caravan, tomorrow, Tuesday evening in Johnstown PA, then Altoona on Wednesday

    • John Dreker

      Thanks for that info, the Altoona Curve mention about him joining the caravan on Wednesday said nothing about him being there a day earlier. Could’ve been added after they posted it though

  • NorCal Buc

    Starling Marte looks every bit like a Real Deal. He just needs the time to read pitching in the bigs. Less we forget, it took Cutch into his third MLB season to flourish. Pedro took two years to get into a healthy rhythm.

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