Winter Leagues Recap: Marte Strikes Again

In game three of the Dominican Winter League playoffs from last night, Starling Marte continued his hot streak, going 3-for-5, with a run scored and an RBI. He also added an outfield assist, his second in three days. His team won 9-0, taking a 3-0 lead in the best-of-nine championship series. So far, Marte has gone 7-for-12, with three runs and three RBI’s in the first three games of the finals.

Marte has his team within two wins of the DWL title

Marte has his team within two wins of the DWL title

The first round of the playoffs in Colombia wrapped up last night. Tigres won 5-4 over Leones, advancing to the best-of-seven series that begins tomorrow. Harold Ramirez(Tigres) was the only Pirates player to get into last night’s game. He was used as a defensive replacement late in the game and did not get a plate appearance. Dilson Herrera, who plays for Leones, did not play in the last two games of the series. Tigres will play Caimanes in the finals.

While there are no Pirates players on Caimanes, Tigres also has Tito Polo on their bench. Polo is an 18-year-old outfielder, who hit .280, with 17 stolen bases and a .798 OPS in 55 games this year, splitting the season between the two Pirates Dominican Summer League teams.

In the U18 National Youth Championship out of Australia that wrapped up yesterday, Sam Kennelly finished the tournament with a .538 batting average, tops among all players. The next highest average among regulars was 83 points lower. Kennelly finished with 15 RBI’s, second highest total in the tournament.

On Saturday, we announced the signing of pitcher Dario Agrazal Jr out of Panama. He played in the Panama Winter League this off-season. Finally getting a chance to see stats from the league, there were other Pirates players in that league as well. The league played a twenty game schedule, plus playoffs.

Ulises Montilla went 13-for-46(.283) in 13 games, with two doubles.

Ashley Ponce hit .253 in 19 games, with four doubles and a .620 OPS.

Eliecer Navarro had a 4.55 ERA in seven appearances, pitching a total of 27.2 innings, with a .286 BAA.

Edgardo Munoz hit .145 in 20 games, going 8-for-55, with nine runs scored.

John Dreker

Author: 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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  • BuccosFanStuckinMD

    Just to get a feel for the level of competition that Marte is facing in his playoffs series, can you list some of the roster of the opposing team – especially the pitchers??

    • John Dreker

      Yesterday’s starter was Seth Etherton, former major leaguer. Marte also faced Marco Quevedo, a veteran all-star pitcher out of the Mexican League. In his last AB, he faced former major leaguer Luis Vizcaino.
      The previous day, Marte faced starter Lorenzo Barcelo, another All-Star pitcher out of Mexico. The next pitcher was another AS from Mexico, Marco Tovar. His last AB came against Juan Sandoval, longtime minor league/Mexican league reliever.
      On Friday night, the starter was Angel Castro, while he did good in the DWL regular season, he only made it to AA briefly before moving on to the Mexican Lg and didn’t pitch this year. He then faced Miguel Batista, yes that one. Then Sandoval, followed by Tony Pena, no not that one, Jr. He has been in AAA as a starter for the Red Sox the last two years and has pitched in the majors.
      These games are intense games though, so don’t let the AAAA quality pitchers fool you. These are real playoff games, huge deals every night. Half the players brought in are reinforcements for the title run. Manny Ramirez and Miguel Tejeda are batting 4-5 for the opponents.
      Marte is hitting third in a lineup of all current or former major league players, Ramon Santiago, Jorge Cantu, Henry Blanco, Fernando Tatis, etc

  • John Dreker

    It is good to see in almost every interview that Marte does in the off-season, that he says he plans on coming to Spring Training to work hard and earn a job with the Pirates. These interviews are postgame for Dominican papers, so no need to play up to the fans of the team. He seems to be out to prove he deserves a regular job in the majors this year and not just assume since he played full-time after getting called up, that he has the job going into camp already.

  • michaelbro8

    I would seriously hope he gets a little time to rest & relax before spring training. If he earns the starting OF spot (which I hope & expect), it’s possible he’ll wear down from such a long season.

    • John Dreker

      He had about a month off from the end of the season until the start of Winter league. He played for five weeks in the Dominican, then took another month off. It looks like right now that his team will represent in the Caribbean Series, which would only give him a week or so between the end of that and the start of Spring Training. At his age and the shape he is in, I think he should be fine.
      He’s still played less than 40 games the entire off-season, will top out at 50 max. Anderson Hernandez played 50 games this off-season, so it isn’t uncommon to play that much and some play more.