Right after the 2020 World Series, the Marlins faced a decision on whether to exercise Starling Marté’s team option for 2021 or not. Eventually, they did. And so far, it has paid off big despite the small sample size of the young MLB season.
After his first 10 games of the regular campaign, he’s slashing .342/.435/.447/.882 thanks to 13 hits across 38 at-bats. He’s recorded two doubles, one triple, three runs batted in, nine scored runs, two steals in three attempts, four walks, and nine strikeouts. Not only is he smashing, but he also is leading the Marlins as their most accomplished hitter on a team that is trying to surprise everybody in the NL East.
There’s a reason for Marte’s early success in ‘21. He’s hitting the ball harder and reduced his ground-ball rate while he increased his fly-ball and line-drive percentages. At the same time, the Dominican veteran is sending balls to center field at a 53.3 rate.
Take a look at the following stats:
The truth is he’s been this good for a while now even if the baseball community hasn’t fully realized it. Across Marté’s last 162 games—going back to May 28, 2019—he’s gone 191-for-625 and has posted a .306/.360/.494/.855 slash line. He has 37 doubles, six triples, and 23 four-baggers, along with 91 RBIs, 115 runs, and 29 swiped bags out of 37 tries.
In that span, there are only four players with more hits than Marté in the National League: Trea Turner (225), Trevor Story (196), Charlie Blackmon (195), and former teammate Ketel Marté (193). In terms of stolen bases, he ranks seventh in the Majors.
Poised to be the best player at his position in the 2021-22 free agent class, it’s very unlikely that Marté will be a Marlin after this year. Cherish him while you can! He’s doing his best to carry the team’s lineup so far to begin the 2021 season.