March 5, 2012; Sarasota, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Starling Marte (64) lays down a bunt in the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. The Pirates defeated the Orioles 10 - 3. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE
**The Pittsburgh Pirates have promoted outfield prospect Starling Marte to the major league roster.
He was hitting .286/.347/.500 overall with Triple-A Indianapolis, with 28 walks and 91 strikeouts in 388 at-bat, swiping 21 bases in 33 attempts. He was especially effective against left-handed pitching, hitting .327/.375/.564 while batting .272/.338/.477 against right-handers. Marte was hot in the weeks before his promotion, hitting .325/.385/.558 in June and .293/.363/.554 in July.
Marte has excellent physical tools and the Pirates now believe that he's ready for major league competition, having made sufficient progress with his plate discipline to warrant an audition. The first thing you may notice about him in the majors is his superior outfield defense, where both his range and arm strength draw raves. This will help keep him in the lineup even during offensive slumps.
With the bat, Marte has improved his pitch recognition and taps into his natural power more efficiently compared to earlier in his career. He'll have stretches where he looks like a world-beater, and others when he racks up strikeouts at an alarming rate. In long run, I think he'll post major league numbers similar to what he did in Triple-A, but in the short run there are likely to be some ups and downs.