Winter Leagues: Big Day for Starling Marte in One-Sided Victory

In the Dominican on a slow Wednesday night, Starling Marte had a big day on offense and barely played half of the game. He went 3-for-4 with two singles and his third home run of the winter. Marte scored twice and drove in four runs. He left after five innings for a pinch-hitter with the scored 16-1 at the time. He’s hitting .273/.325/.436 through 29 games. The regular season in the Dominican ends one week from today and Marte isn’t expected to participate in the playoffs.

Anderson Feliz went 2-for-5 with his sixth double. He also picked up an outfield assist in left field, before finishing the game at shortstop. He’s hitting .299/.353/.421 in 35 games this winter. He’s still a free agent, but with his performance this winter and position versatility, I’d expect someone to sign the 25-year-old switch-hitter soon.

In Venezuela, newly-acquired shortstop Engelb Vielma went 2-for-4 with a triple in his second game since the Pirates picked him up off of waivers. The triple was his second of the winter. On defense, he committed his sixth error of the winter. Vielma is hitting .233/.300/.301 through 26 games.

Danny Ortiz started his first game in a week, missing time due to a stomach bug. He went 0-for-3 with a walk and he’s now 2-for-27 with a double and three walks through nine games.

In Mexico, Carlos Munoz went 3-for-4 with his eighth double. He also singled twice, drove in three runs and scored one run. He’s hitting .268 through 51 games and he has a 23:20 BB/SO ratio.

  • It took a little time, but I’m glad Marte seems to be finding his swing again. If the Pirates are to contend next year, they need Marte to be the player he can be.

    I’d love to see him tap into his power this season, too, and take that next step forward. He’s definitely strong; it’s definitely in there. He’s just never geared his swing to accessing it, and I hope he does.

    • I agree we need him to be a team leader in order for us to be successful, Polanco also. Marte is chiseled, but is less than efficient recognizing pitches and has never developed the ability to lay off breaking pitches in the dirt. And, he can still hit 15-25 HR, hit .280+, and steal 30 bases a year.

  • Marte looks promising for this coming year.

  • Where can we expect Vielma to report this season?

    • It will either be Altoona or Indianapolis, based on space. He played a lot of Triple-A this year, but was over-matched at the plate, so that might not be the best starting point.

      • But with Tucker and Alemais available at SS at AA where is the playing time and why do we need him?

        • Alemais will be at High-A and you can always used depth. As we said in the post about his acquisition, don’t be surprised if they try to sneak him through waivers.