Marte is a former top prospect who hasn't lived up to his potential.

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed three players to minor league free agent deals today.  Those players are third baseman Andy Marte, right handed pitcher Fernando Nieve, and catcher Dusty Brown.

Marte, who turned 27 in October, is a very similar story to Andy LaRoche.  He was one of the top prospects in the game at one time, ranking 11th in the majors in 2004, 9th in 2005, and 14th in 2006.  So far, Marte has combined for a .218/.277/.358 line in 838 major league at-bats, along with 20 homers.  His walk rate has improved in the last two years, but only to the point where it's above average.  Marte has had better power than LaRoche, with a .140 ISO, compared to a .113 for LaRoche.  The problem is that Marte's hitting...

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