Starling Marte is the best Pittsburgh Pirates prospect who is closest to being called up to the major league team. It's unclear, however, how good Marte can be when he makes it to Pittsburgh. Will he akin to Alex Presley? Or to Andrew McCutchen? His speed and athleticism along with his defense and arm excite some fans and scouts. But his high strikeout rates and low walk rates concern many, including some of Marte's biggest boosters.
To whom might Pirates fans look to glimpse Marte's future?
Carl Crawford is one player that Marte resembles. Both are athletic and fast outfielders. Both derive much of their value from their batting averages and defensive prowess. Crawford, on the other hand, arrived in the Majors when he was twenty. Marte is already twenty-three and working on his game at Indianapolis. Crawford did not walk much. Nor did he strikeout much. Marte, on the other hand, neither walks much nor puts the bat on the ball at an acceptable rate. Yet, we can point to one crucial difference between the two players. Crawford is an American who learned the game while young. Marte is a Dominican who was raw when he became a professional. This difference provides Marte with an opportunity for improvement that's dramatic. He might, in other words, close the holes in his swing.
Here are Crawford's Major League numbers:
Here are his Minor League numbers:
I believe Crawford to be a ‘flawed' player. Let us hope that Starling Marte has a career as good as Crawford's!