Rookie Sensation Ketel Marte Impressive For Mariners

The Mariners Finally Have A Shortstop

Finding a shortstop has proven difficult for the Mariners pretty much since the day Alex Rodriguez signed with the Texas Rangers.  More recently we’ve seen players like Nick Franklin and Brad Miller both be handed the job only to hand it right back and in both of their cases, do it more than once.

Marte at bat

Ketel Marte has shown an ability to reach base at a high rate so far.

Chris Taylor arrived on the scene with a sparkling minor league average and could do no better than Miller or Franklin did.  He was finally sent back to AAA to yet again continue the M’s shortstop rotation.

The shortstop game of musical chairs may have finally ended for the Seattle Mariners with the arrival a couple of weeks ago of Ketel Marte from AAA Tacoma.  While it may be too early just yet to say the young man has arrived, the early reviews are most promising.

Marte has played in 20 games thus far logging 70 ABs while doing so.  His numbers in that short span are impressive, especially for a rookie.  Marte is batting .286 with five doubles and four RBIs. 

The number I like most in Marte’s stat line is the 11 walks along with an OB% that is a team 2nd best .378.  Nelson Cruz has the lead is this category with a .387.  Still, that number shows that Marte has the ability to become the table setter that the M’s have long needed in front of Robinson Cano, Cruz and Kyle Seager.

Some of the other things that are impressive about Marte is his ability to hit appropriate to the situation.  Sunday afternoon against the White Sox, Marte came up to bat with a runner at 3rd and only one out.  Marte was able to take a few pitches and then hit the ball the other way for a sacrifice fly.

I realize sac flies are not the most exciting thing in baseball but for the Mariners they are critical in that they have done such a poor job of getting runners in from scoring position this year.  To see Marte, an extremely young hitter, do the right thing by just getting the guy in from 3rd without trying to do much was most impressive.

Another example of Marte’s abilities was on display in that same game when Marte reached first base and then promptly watched lefty John Danks throw a couple pitches before taking off and stealing second base. 

That series of events was important for a couple of reasons.  Marte wound up scoring from 2nd on a base hit which turned out to be an important run for the Mariners.  It also showed just how good of a base stealer Marte is because lefty Danks is not an easy guy to run on, yet Marte made it look easy.

The Mariners might not be the most interesting thing to watch in Seattle sports right now given their season is all but over but it’s worth turning it on to watch this young man play shortstop.  Marte could easily wind up being a very special player for the Mariners in 2016.

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About Brian Scott

Husband, Philosopher, Animal Rights Advocate, and Author Brian is a Spokane native and Gonzaga University grad. Seahawks, Mariners, GU Hoops and Cougar football are the teams that drive his passion for sports. You can catch him on twitter too! Connect with Brian today!
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