On Friday the Los Angeles Angels promoted third base prospect Jefry Marte to the major league roster; he went 2-for-4 in his first game against the Seattle Mariners. Marte has been on prospect lists for years; let's see what he has to offer.
Marte was originally signed by the Mets and received considerable attention as far back as 2010. Last year he was with the Tigers, hitting .275/.341/.487 with 15 homers, 31 walks, and 64 strikeouts in 367 at-bats in Triple-A. Detroit gave him a trial in the majors and he hit .213/.284/.413 in 80 at-bats, retaining rookie status for 2016.
From the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book
Jefry Marte, 3B, Los Angeles Angels
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-1 WT: 200 DOB: June 21, 1991
2009: Grade C+; 2010: Grade C+; 2011: Grade C+; 2012: Grade C; 2013: Grade C
2014: Grade C; 2015: Grade C
Jefry Marte was an interesting prospect in the Mets system several years ago. He was traded to Oakland in 2013, then moved on to the Tigers as a minor league free agent in 2015. He made his major league debut last summer but is now with the Angels following another trade in January 2016. Scouts have waited on Marte for years, seeing power potential in his bat, power potential that he didn’t really tap until last year. He set a career-high with 19 homers between Triple-A and the majors. He’s always been quite strong and his strikeout rates have been low, but his swing was tailored for the line drive and he didn’t loft the ball. That changed last year without any deterioration in his strikeout rate, which is a good marker. Marte is a mediocre defender at third base and hasn’t been much better when used at first. I think he made real progress last year but I’m not convinced it was enough to make him more than a somewhat useful role player. He looks to me like a guy who can hit .250 with fair power, nothing special. Still, that’s better than getting released. Grade C.
Marte was not hitting all that well at Salt Lake City, batting .225/.321/.350 with two homers, 17 walks, and 30 strikeouts in 120 at-bats. However, he had been on a bit of a hot streak right before the promotion, going 6-for-15 with two homers and three doubles in the four games immediately before moving up.
As noted he was pretty solid last year in Triple-A so in general this year doesn't mean much given the sample sizes involved. In other words, the pre-season take still holds.
As a hitter, Marte's general level of production is just decent. Combined with a mediocre glove, his overall package is not currently enough to seize a clear job as a regular. He is still young enough to improve further, and it is certainly true that Marte has made very significant improvements with pitch recognition and contact ability compared to his days in the Mets system. But more needs to be done and at this point is best projection is as a role player and extra bat.
Here he gets a good swing on a first-pitch inner half fastball from Jordan Lyles.