|Born: October 21, 1983
Height: 6′ 1″
Signed: Amateur FA, Atlanta Braves, 2000
How Acquired: Minor League FA
High School: Villa Tapia (Villa Tapia, DO)
Agent: Donnie Mitchell
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Marte is one of the more puzzling failed prospects of recent years. Throughout his climb up the Braves’ system, he was considered one of the top prospects in the minors; in 2004-06 he ranked 11th, 9th and 14th on Baseball America’s list of the top 100 prospects. BA also ranked him first in the Braves’ and Red Sox’ systems, although he never played in the latter. The Braves have long been renowned for their uncanny ability to choose the right prospects to trade away and Marte was one of many examples. They shipped him to Boston after the 2005 season for Edgar Renteria and Boston sent him to Cleveland six weeks later in a large trade involving Coco Crisp, among others. As soon as he got in the Cleveland system, Marte’s walk rate suddenly dropped to little over half what it had been. Defense hasn’t been a problem, as Marte has a strong arm and his glove was well regarded in the minors, although he’s never run well. In the majors, UZR has seen him as roughly average. His bat has never come around at the major league level, though, despite extensive opportunities. The problem seems to be a combination of weak plate discipline and loss of bat speed as he’s gotten older and heavier. The Indians finally removed Marte from their 40-man roster and the Pirates signed him to a minor league deal for 2011 with a non-roster invite.
Struggled as a 17-year-old in GCL debut.
Marte hit for very good power in low A at age 18, including 105 RBIs. His plate discipline was a little weak, as he walked 41 times and fanned 114.
In high A at age 19, Marte hit well again. The pitchers’ park in Myrtle Beach probably depressed his power numbers some. He started laying off more pitches.
Marte continued to put up similar numbers at age 20 in AA, including decent plate discipline.
In AAA, Marte hit pretty much the same, with much-improved plate discipline. The Braves called him up for 24 games and he struggled.
Following the trade to Cleveland, Marte played 50 games in the majors and the rest of the year in AAA. He hit for good power in the majors, although he didn’t do well otherwise. His AAA numbers, including his walk and K totals, fell off a lot from previous years.
Marte was expected to be the Indians’ starter at third, but the team acquired several veterans and then Marte got hurt. In 57 major league ABs he had a .549 OPS. He was sent to AAA and spent most of the year there, hitting about like 2006 but with even weaker plate discipline.
Out of options, Marte spent the year largely sitting on the bench in Cleveland and didn’t hit at all.
Cleveland removed Marte from its 40-man roster and he cleared waivers. He tore up AAA, although still with a low walk rate, and returned to Cleveland for the last two months. With Jhonny Peralta at third, Marte played exclusively at first. His power rebounded, but his hitting otherwise didn’t.
Except for a brief rehab, Marte spent the season in Cleveland as a corner utility player, splitting time between first and third. He missed several weeks with a pulled hamstring. He hit about the same as 2009: decent power but not much else.
In camp with the Pirates, Marte competed with Garrett Atkins and Josh Fields for a right-handed corner utility role. He had a good spring, but lost the job to Steve Pearce. He instead spent the year at Indianapolis, playing semi-regularly at third and DH. He hit very little. His playing time diminished late in the season and he went just 2-for-29 in 12 August games. He had just a .350 OPS against LHPs.
Marte was an interesting flier for the Pirates to take, but he seems to have fallen off a cliff. He may not have an easy time finding even a minor league deal in 2012, and if he does it’s not likely to be with the Pirates.
|2011: Minor League Contract
|Signing Bonus: $600,000
MiLB Debut: 2001
MLB Debut: 6/7/2005
MiLB FA Eligible: Eligible
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2005, 2006, 2007)
MLB Service Time: 3.107
|September 12, 2000: Signed by the Atlanta Braves as an undrafted free agent with a $600,000 bonus.
November 22, 2004: Contract purchased by the Atlanta Braves.
December 8, 2005: Acquired by the Boston Red Sox from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Edgar Renteria.
January 27, 2006: Acquired by the Cleveland Indians from the Boston Red Sox along with Guillermo Mota, Kelly Shoppach, and a PTBNL in exchange for Coco Crisp, Josh Bard, and David Riske.
February 19, 2009: Designated for assignment by the Cleveland Indians.
February 25, 2009: Outrighted to AAA by the Cleveland Indians.
July 28, 2009: Contract purchased by the Cleveland Indians.
November 4, 2010: Outrighted to AAA by the Cleveland Indians; became a free agent on November 6.
December 1, 2010: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as a minor league free agent.