Somewhere in the shadow of the numerous standout rookies making their debuts this season and ghosts of failed Mariners prospects is Ketel Marte.
Unlike those failed prospects who’ve come before him, Marte is actually producing. Even if it isn’t being noticed.
With the long line of failed prospects in the Seattle Mariners organization, it certainly isn’t a surprise if Ketel Marte didn’t exactly move the needle for you upon his promotion on July 31st. His name isn’t Addison Russell, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa or Kris Bryant. Plus, if there’s been a highly-touted prospect in the Seattle organization, then he’s probably fizzled out in recent years.
Dustin Ackley, Mike Zunino, Nick Franklin, Danny Hultzen, Brad Miller and even Taijuan Walker to a certain degree, all failed to reach expectations. If former GM Jack Zduriencik was involved, it probably didn’t work.
There is still time for many of those to develop, but Marte’s been a positive for a team that hasn’t had many this season.
The 21-year-old Dominican middle infielder is the team’s No. 2 prospect. He doesn’t boast much power and may not be able to stick at shortstop, but after hitting .314 with 12 doubles in 65 games at Triple-A Tacoma, he was certainly worth the look.
That success has carried over with him to the big leagues so far, and his play has been impressing the Mariners, manager Lloyd McClendon, the media and the fans. In doing so, he has already done much more for the club than the aforementioned prospects. Outside of Seattle, he’s been a bit of a surprise, despite having had a good spring with the big league club. He’s met, if not exceeded, expectations thus far–unlike the Mariners’ many other prospects who have been disappointments for the club.
Marte has been one of the best players on the team and in the league over the last month. Marte, who is usually hitting lead-off, has actually been the tenth best overall player in the American League as of the 26th of August.
As of Saturday night, he is hitting .289/.355/.381 with seven doubles a triple and six RBI in just 26 games with the Mariners. He’s been solid on defense and he’s already accumulated three stolen bases in only four attempts.
Whether or not Marte can keep it up is still to be determined.
Unfortunately, Marte did not appear in the Mariners game Sunday against the Chicago White Sox. He left Saturday’s game with what has been called a “mild hamstring strain” and is being given a day of rest. He was replaced in the lineup last night by Miller, who hit in the eighth spot in the Mariners’ Sunday lineup against the Sox.
Hopefully for the Mariners and for baseball fans everywhere, Marte’s injury is truly just “mild” and will not keep him out of the lineup long. Hamstring strains are known to be tricky to return from. However, there has not been a grade put on the strain yet, suggesting that Marte will be fine. It would be a shame for baseball fans to have to miss Marte’s pleasing and fun-to-watch style of play over the last month of the 2015 season.