Friday, March 9, 2012


Ok so I have calmed down from my Andrew McCutchen signing high...

It is a slight possibility that I may have overreacted to that situation just a bit. But c'mon. We're Pirates fans. Anytime something happens that makes me forget for one moment that we are a tiny market club with an owner              
who has a history of being frugal with his wallet will make me all warm and fuzzy inside.

But I digress. There are more important matters to discuss now. Sort of.

Starling Marte is a monster. Ever since the Pirates were contending at the trade deadline last summer, Marte's name has been an interesting discussion point.

Marte has been successful at every level. He won a batting title in the Eastern League last year at AA Altoona with a .332 batting average. His power also began to develop; Marte drove 12 balls out of the yard in 2011 (he had only hit 5 home runs the previous two years).

It's probably a good thing that the Pirates didn't deal Marte before their epic collapse. Marte has been a hot spot this spring training. He was an 8 hit streak yesterday before he flew out to right field. Yes, and 8 hit streak. Not 8 games with a hit in a row. 8 hits in a row. Holy sh....

I was able to jump on Twitter as I watched the last few innings of the Phillies game yesterday. Marte blasted a homerun on a pitch that was low and inside in the zone. He has quick hands and his power is developing.

He has blazing speed and is a plus fielder, although you wouldn't have known it by watching him in right field this spring. He has looked confused out there, but that's not his natural position.

So what are the Pirates going to do about it? Clint Hurdle was just on 93.7 The Fan. He said there is no chance that Starling Marte will be with the big league club.

Yes. If Starling Marte gets a hit in every single at bat for the rest of the spring, he will not make the big league club. This is slightly frustrating given the urgency of the 2012 season, but it is understandable that the club doesn't want Marte to skip AAA.

It will be interesting to see who Marte will replace, as he will inevitably have to replace someone. It comes down to Presley or Tabata. Personally, I'm a bit torn between the two.

There are accurate criticisms for both outfielders. Presley is still a question mark. He's never been through a full season in the majors. He isn't a great defender, though he is good enough to man left field in PNC Park. His swing, however, is solid. He has a very quick stroke that leads me to believe that we aren't going to see a ton of regression.

If anyone is in line for regression this season, it's Presley, but I don't think we're going to see too much of it. He has shown the ability to spread to ball around the field and he consistently puts the fat part of the bat on the ball. 

Tabata worries me. His ceiling is higher than Presley's, but ceiling isn't the best way to determine your starting lineup. Tabata's injury problems are of huge concern, as well as his lack of power. He does get on base at a good rate though, and serves as a better lead-off man than Presley

Marte will surpass both of them, and Presley will probably end up being the one that rides the pine due to Tabata's big contract.

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