I’m sure in a lot of leagues where people know a thing or two about a thing or two Starling Marte will be one of the things they know a thing or two about. Since it’s still relevant, let’s see what I said last year about him, “The Pirates equipment manager, Buffalo Bill, has to start making a uniform made from Jose Tabata’s skin. Put the lotion in the basket, Tabata! Tabata, “I wanna go home!” You won’t go home, ever. Because you never get on base, that’s the first step to going home. Tabata, “But I was a spring sleeper!” They’re slaughtering the spring lambs. Can’t you hear their screaming? I call that piece, The Mash-Up of the Lambs. In Triple-A, Marte’s hitting .286 with 12 homers and 21 steals *quieter voice* and 12 times caught stealing. So he’s a bit raw like your fava beans. In Double-A the year before, he had 12 homers and 24 steals *barely above a whisper* and 12 times caught stealing. But he did hit .332 in Double-A. I don’t think he’s going to be rosterable off the bat in most mixed leagues, but in keepers and NL-Only leagues, I’d stash him now. He could get 7-10 homers with 10 steals. Plus, with his speed and power combo, he could surprise with nice upside. Now, excuse me, I’m having an old friend for dinner.” And that’s me quoting me! He ended up getting five homers and 12 steals in 167 major league at-bats, and cemented himself in the leadoff spot for the Pirates like he was Jimmy Hoffa. So what can we expect from Starling Marte for 2013 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
For 2013, Bill James projects Starling Marte to get the line: 82/15/64/.297/31. That average looks crazy like that time when you wanted to give huffing glue a chance, but the rest shouldn’t be too far from what you’re gonna get from Marte. That’s a beautiful thing. That’s like the New York Times review of Guy Fieri’s restaurant in its inverse. That means Marte is going to go from being drafted as a fourth outfielder and give you second outfielder numbers. The caught stealings still bother me. Last year in his 12 steals with the Pirates, he was caught 5 times. But the Pirates aren’t exactly the 1927 Yankees playing in Coors Field with aluminum bats and balls filled with helium (baseballs, that is). What do they care if guys are caught stealing? The Pirates’ magic number isn’t for the playoffs; it’s for whether or not they will finish with a .500 record. Marte has shown his power can translate, and we know speed translates. My biggest concern is his 27.5% strikeout rate last year. If he qualified with ABs, that rate would’ve had him among the ten worst K-rates. Out of those ten only Chris Davis hit better than .250, and Davis needed a .335 BABIP to do it. Most guys in those ten hit below .230. There’s a real chance Marte hits .240 or lower. The bright side, he had a 21.1% K-rate in Triple-A, so he could o’ercome thy whilst’s biggest forsakeness. Sorry, the monkeys that type this stuff up write Shakespearean sonnets from nine to five. For 2013, I’ll give him the line of 77/12/58/.252/27, which chance for solid upside.