"Everybody say when you hear the call
You got to get it underway,
Word up, it's the code word,
No matter where you say it,
You'll know that you'll be heard."
The Pittsburgh Pirates recalled the organization's top five-tool prospect Wednesday. Dated Cameo song notwithstanding, what might fantasy owners expect from the 23-year-old right-handed hitter?
Marte put up a .286/.348/.500 slash line in 384 at-bats in his first season for Triple-A Indianapolis prior to his recall. He's hit 20 doubles, 13 triples, 12 homers and has successfully swiped 21 of 33 bases.
Last year he put in a full year at Double-A, where he led the Eastern League with a .332 batting average.
Pirates general manager, Neal Huntington, could've promoted Marte sooner, but wanted to see better plate discipline from him. Huntington felt that major league pitching could expose his penchant for free swinging. Supporting Huntington's claim is a 28:90 BB:K ratio, which is actually an improvement over 2011's 22:100 BB:K ratio.
Huntington has often stated that Marte would get a full-time shot when promoted to the bigs. Now that he's here, what can we expect from him?
We did a similar blog entry with Pedro Alvarez when he made his big league debut. Alvarez was easier to project because he was basically a long ball threat and nothing else. Also, the Pirates weren't in a pennant race and could afford to wade through Alvarez's peaks and valleys.
Should Marte struggle, it's doubtful Pittsburgh sticks with him on a full-time basis.
Will Marte go off or will his appearance turn out to be little more than a cameo in 2012?