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Miami Marlins center fielder Starling Marte (6) stands in the outfield during the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

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2021 Marlins Season Review: Starling Marte

Will Marte and the Marlins reunite after the team traded him to Oakland in July?

Photo by Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports

Starling Marte’s time in Miami lasted only 331 days. Once the team and player could not agree to an extension, the Marlins decided that trading their center fielder and most productive bat was the best move. Marte’s trade to the Oakland A’s at the mid-season deadline deflated the team’s lineup, leaving the offense decimated after Garrett Cooper sustained a season-ending injury and Adam Duvall was traded to the Atlanta Braves.

2021 Timeline

  • April 1-April 18: .310/.414/.483, 148 wRC+, 11.4 BB%, 20.0 K%, 47.0 HardHit% in 16 games.
  • April 20: Marte goes on the injured list with a left rib fracture.
  • May 28-July 27: After more than a month on the injured list, Marte returned and continued to produce at a high level. Marte’s statistics after returning from the IL: .303/.402/.440, 134 wRC+, 11.7 BB%, 21.0 K%, 35.0 HardHit% in 48 games.
  • July 28: Traded to Oakland A’s for Jesús Luzardo. Marte’s statistics with A’s: .316/.359/.466, 130 wRC+, 4.4 BB%, 16.7 K%, 41.0 HardHit% in 56 games.
  • November: Marte becomes a free agent.

By The Numbers

After a Golden Sombrero on Opening Day, Marte recorded back-to-back three and four hit games and continued to support Miami’s offense before his injury on April 18. He appeared to injure himself on a swing in the ninth-inning of the game, wincing and grabbing his left side. The team wanted to be cautious with Marte and removed him from the game in the middle of the at-bat. What ended up being a fractured rib sidelined the center fielder for over a month. Up to that point, Marte had played in all of the Marlins’ 16 games to start the season. He hit two home runs, stole three bases, and held an .897 OPS.

Starling Marte’s offensive splits from 2021 vs career totals FanGraphs

After his 35-game absence, Marte returned to the Marlins lineup and picked up where he left off. He recorded two three-hit and two four-hit games in June. He scuffled a bit in July, going 5-for-35 over a 10 game span with 16 strikeouts. He flipped the switch in the second game of a mid-July doubleheader with three extra base hits. In the 10 games before he was traded, Marte went 18-for-38 and drove in 7 runs.

Marte’s 2021 with the Marlins ended after 64 games. He wound up slashing .305/.405/.451 with seven home runs and 22 stolen bases prior to being traded. The only other batters to play at least that many games for the Marlins in a single season while reaching base safely more than 40% of the time? Miguel Cabrera, Luis Castillo, Cliff Floyd, Hanley Ramírez, Cody Ross and Gary Sheffield.

Marte was the team’s most productive offensive player at the time of his trade, contributing 47 wRC (weighted runs created) in 275 plate appearances. Although he played zero games for the Marlins after July 27, his 47 wRC was the fourth-most for the Marlins all season. The only players who created more runs were Jesús Aguilar (70 wRC in 510 PA), Miguel Rojas (64 wRC in 539 PA), and Jazz Chisholm Jr. (61 wRC in 507 PA).


Where will free agency take Starling Marte?

The 33-year-old center fielder is one of the bigger free-agent names this offseason and is drawing interest from multiple teams. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported the possibility that Marte signs before the impending lockout set to begin on Dec. 1. The Marlins, like many teams, have shown interest and need to fill the glaring hole in center field. Per Heyman, however, the “Marlins offer lags behind some others” (SportsGrid’s Craig Mish has been hearing the same thing). Besides the Fish, he says the Phillies, Yankees, Mets, Astros, Rangers, and Giants are other teams who are looking to ink Marte.

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