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 Post subject: Starling Marte -- The Key?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:24 pm 
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http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/02 ... -ball.html

So the kid hits .304/.381/.464 in the Dominican Winter League, and then .422/.481/.756 in the post-season. Obviously, these numbers aren't likely to be replicated in MLB. But they do show a better eye and solid average.

It seems to me, if Clint Hurdle plans to slot Marte in at #1 in the lineup, he'll have to boast an OBP of at .340 to bring value. Since he's unlikely to walk as much as he did in the DWL, Marte will likely have to hit at least .300 to get to a .340 OBP. I think he can do it, but it'll take some luck and better command of the strike zone. When Marte made contact last year, he hit the ball pretty damn hard. If he lays off sliders away and other junk tailing out of the strike zone, he should have a BABIP high enough to get that average into the .300s.

In my mind, that's one of the keys to the season. If the lineup goes Marte-Walker-Cutch and all three of those guys are getting on base, the Pirates should have a league-average offense.


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 Post subject: Re: Starling Marte -- The Key?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:03 pm 
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My dream for them to be competitive in 2013 and beyond is for them to pick up a leadoff hitting shortstop and drop Marte down to #5 in the order, unless they acquire another major bat.


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 Post subject: Re: Starling Marte -- The Key?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:05 pm 
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I'm always going to say starting pitching is the key. But we need Marte to be a significant contributor this year and I fully expect him to be that.

This guy is about as close to a sure thing as you can get.


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 Post subject: Re: Starling Marte -- The Key?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:19 pm 
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Marte is pushing Alvarez for the prestigious title of SUPERCHARGED APE'S FAVORITE BUCCO.

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 Post subject: Re: Starling Marte -- The Key?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:43 am 
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I wish they'd try Walker in the leadoff spot.

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 Post subject: Re: Starling Marte -- The Key?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:48 pm 
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nad69dan wrote:
I wish they'd try Walker in the leadoff spot.

I actually think they need to get him down in the order. He hits really well with runners on base. I want him hitting somewhere in the order where he can drive guys in. Of course I know the rub there is if nobody is on that doesn't do any good. I still say give Marte the chance, cross your fingers, and hope he gets on base enough to justify the move.


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 Post subject: Re: Starling Marte -- The Key?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:31 pm 
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I've always felt speed doesn't matter IF a player can't hit for average and get on base. With the way the running game has been (poor), I'd rather see Pirates get on base via the singles and doubles setting the table for the big RBI guys to drive them in like Alvarez, Cutch, or Walker, or even Jones.

Marte, to me is a perfect candidate to hit higher up in the order. I think he can make a positive contribution by hitting in the lead-off spot maybe with a player like Tabata batting 2nd.

I believe ALL these Pirate hitters need to find their role in the line up and perform up to their expectations to have a successful offense.

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 Post subject: Re: Starling Marte -- The Key?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:39 pm 
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Marte is a key player if for no other reason than if he hits like I think he can and will, then the Pirates have enough offense to overcome Barmes' bat in the line-up.

Marte, McCutchen, Snider/Sands platoon, Jones/Sanchez platoon, Walker, Alvarez, and Martin are a legitimate offense. If Marte struggles, then the Pirates have not one but two "dead spots" in the line-up, plus the pitcher's spot.


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 Post subject: Re: Starling Marte -- The Key?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:05 am 
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PirateParrot wrote:
nad69dan wrote:
I wish they'd try Walker in the leadoff spot.

I actually think they need to get him down in the order. He hits really well with runners on base. I want him hitting somewhere in the order where he can drive guys in. Of course I know the rub there is if nobody is on that doesn't do any good. I still say give Marte the chance, cross your fingers, and hope he gets on base enough to justify the move.

I have to disagree. The Pirates should play to each player's strengths, not put them in positions that magnify their respective weaknesses. Walker is better at getting on base than Marte is, and Marte has more raw power than Walker does. Thus, Walker should be leading off over Marte, and Marte should be hitting further down in the lineup.

Walker may hit well with runners on, but so do most hitters, and that includes every starter on the Pirates. The Pirates need more instances with runners on, and Walker is more adept at providing that. Marte can still exploit his speed as a #5 or #6 hitter.

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 Post subject: Re: Starling Marte -- The Key?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:05 am 
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Willton wrote:
I have to disagree. The Pirates should play to each player's strengths, not put them in positions that magnify their respective weaknesses.


Agree 100%

Willton wrote:
Walker is better at getting on base than Marte is, and Marte has more raw power than Walker does. Thus, Walker should be leading off over Marte, and Marte should be hitting further down in the lineup.


I think Marte will keep improving on getting on base. Whether his "raw power" develops substantially to the point where he becomes an obvious run "producer" is yet to be seen. If that becomes the case, I would agree that he should moved down in the lineup.


Willton wrote:
Walker may hit well with runners on, but so do most hitters, and that includes every starter on the Pirates.


I'm not so sure about that statement. Hasn't Walker displayed that he is a better hitter with runners on base than many (not most) of the other Pirate hitters?


Willton wrote:
The Pirates need more instances with runners on, and Walker is more adept at providing that. Marte can still exploit his speed as a #5 or #6 hitter.


Walker batting 2nd with Marte batting 1st would be a good scenario in my opinion.

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 Post subject: Re: Starling Marte -- The Key?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:21 pm 
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Marte is like a small, stringy Juan Gonzalez. Or Vlad Guerrero. Just swinging at everything - hitting the ball hard, but swinging at every damn pitch. That kind of approach should not be leading off.

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 Post subject: Re: Starling Marte -- The Key?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:48 pm 
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Willton wrote:
I have to disagree. The Pirates should play to each player's strengths, not put them in positions that magnify their respective weaknesses. Walker is better at getting on base than Marte is, and Marte has more raw power than Walker does. Thus, Walker should be leading off over Marte, and Marte should be hitting further down in the lineup.

Walker may hit well with runners on, but so do most hitters, and that includes every starter on the Pirates. The Pirates need more instances with runners on, and Walker is more adept at providing that. Marte can still exploit his speed as a #5 or #6 hitter.

This conversation highlights the fact that this team doesn't have a great option at the leadoff spot.

Not everyone hits better with runners on, and Walker was right there with Walker and Jones in that regard. I think Alvarez will get better with that, but Jones may regress a bit. I guess I am saying I'd hate to move one of our 3 good run producing bats up to lead off.

The points being made about Marte and his lack of OBP are certainly valid, which is why this is an interesting decision. If Marte gets on base more, I love his speed creating havoc at the top of the order. I know OBP is more important than speed, but I don't think the speed factor should simply be written off as unimportant.


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 Post subject: Re: Starling Marte -- The Key?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:17 pm 
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SUPERCHARGED APE wrote:
Marte is like a small, stringy Juan Gonzalez. Or Vlad Guerrero. Just swinging at everything - hitting the ball hard, but swinging at every damn pitch. That kind of approach should not be leading off.


I tend to agree. However, this post addresses reality. And the reality of the situation is that Clint Hurdle is likely to bat Marte lead-off. I'm saying that it CAN work out if Marte hits .300 or better.


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 Post subject: Re: Starling Marte -- The Key?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:20 pm 
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Looking back, your initial argument is that if the top three guys in the lineup get on base a lot, the offense should be decent. I agree!

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 Post subject: Re: Starling Marte -- The Key?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:25 pm 
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SUPERCHARGED APE wrote:
Looking back, your initial argument is that if the top three guys in the lineup get on base a lot, the offense should be decent. I agree!


Basically, that development would make up for the black offensive hole at SS and the potential low-average spots at C, 1B, and RF.

If Cutch, Pedro, and Jones all hit home runs in 2013 at the same pace they hit dingers in 2012, along with the top three guys getting on base, then you could see -- GASP! -- an above average offense. That would be pretty cool.


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 Post subject: Re: Starling Marte -- The Key?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:26 pm 
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PirateParrot wrote:
Willton wrote:
I have to disagree. The Pirates should play to each player's strengths, not put them in positions that magnify their respective weaknesses. Walker is better at getting on base than Marte is, and Marte has more raw power than Walker does. Thus, Walker should be leading off over Marte, and Marte should be hitting further down in the lineup.

Walker may hit well with runners on, but so do most hitters, and that includes every starter on the Pirates. The Pirates need more instances with runners on, and Walker is more adept at providing that. Marte can still exploit his speed as a #5 or #6 hitter.

This conversation highlights the fact that this team doesn't have a great option at the leadoff spot.

Not everyone hits better with runners on, and Walker was right there with Walker and Jones in that regard. I think Alvarez will get better with that, but Jones may regress a bit. I guess I am saying I'd hate to move one of our 3 good run producing bats up to lead off.

The points being made about Marte and his lack of OBP are certainly valid, which is why this is an interesting decision. If Marte gets on base more, I love his speed creating havoc at the top of the order. I know OBP is more important than speed, but I don't think the speed factor should simply be written off as unimportant.

Few teams have "great" options at leadoff, but every team has to make the best choice as far as who among their position players should bat leadoff. In the case of the Pirates, it's Walker. There is no more appropriate player to do so.

Whether or not everyone hits better with runners on is immaterial; what matters is which Pirates players hit better with runners on. In that context, Walker hitting better with runners on is nothing special: all of his teammates share the same trait.

Walker can still produce runs from the leadoff position; he just won't do it in the first inning. There will be plenty of times when he'll be up with one or more of the 7, 8, and 9 hitters on base. Plus, as the leadoff man, he can produce runs by scoring them himself.

The point of moving Walker to leadoff is that his plate appearances will come sooner and more often on a per game basis. If Walker is as good as we say he is, then he should given more opportunities to hit, not fewer.

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Last edited by Willton on Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Starling Marte -- The Key?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:58 pm 
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I'm 100% on board with that idea.

JC, if your point is that it looks like it will be Marte and there is nothing we can do about that, well...yeah. I don't disagree. But it's a message board and this is just how it works up in here yo!

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 Post subject: Re: Starling Marte -- The Key?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:58 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
SUPERCHARGED APE wrote:
Looking back, your initial argument is that if the top three guys in the lineup get on base a lot, the offense should be decent. I agree!


Basically, that development would make up for the black offensive hole at SS and the potential low-average spots at C, 1B, and RF.

If Cutch, Pedro, and Jones all hit home runs in 2013 at the same pace they hit dingers in 2012, along with the top three guys getting on base, then you could see -- GASP! -- an above average offense. That would be pretty cool.



Pedro is hitting 50 HRs this year. 50!

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 Post subject: Re: Starling Marte -- The Key?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:25 am 
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Yeah I don't know about 50 but I think Pedro is going to hit much better this year than last year. Barmes will hit better too, though probably not to league average.


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 Post subject: Re: Starling Marte -- The Key?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:54 am 
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Willton wrote:
Few teams have "great" options at leadoff


As an example take a look at the WS contender Braves roster.

As I have said all winter, Tabata hits leadoff against LHP, Walker against RHP.

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