09 December 2005

Andy Marte | 3B | B/R T/R | 22 YO

Here is some info on the newest member of the Boston Red Sox organization, Andy Marte. Andy instantly becomes the Red Sox best minor league prospect, and could start 2006 in AAA with a strong chance for early season callup.

: 11/21/83
Villa Tapia, Dominican Republic
Signed as an undrafted Free Agent by Atlanta in 2000
HT: 6'1" | WT: 185
B: R | T: R

From Brave's Journal:

Broadly speaking, Marte has "classical" third-baseman skills of the Mathews/Schmidt type. He's not going to be a .300 hitter, at least not normally. He's hitting .275 this year in Greenville, hit .285 last year, and .281 in 2002. (To compare, Mathews' career BA was .271, his career high .306, and he hit .300 three times in his career. Schmidt hit .316 once but his next-best year was .293.)

What Andy brings to the table, already at his young age, is power. Despite missing a lot of time -- about 100 plate appearances worth -- with his ankle injury he still leads the team in homers with 18, and he's second in doubles with 24. His isolated power (a number of statistical analysts are pushing this as a good indicator for minor leaguers these days) is .279. (That's actually down a little, but still impressive. JD Drew's isolated power is .276.)

Fielding? While still rather raw, he has promise there as well. Baseball America rates him the best defensive third baseman in the Southern League, with the best infield arm. He's made 13 errors this year, which certainly isn't a ridiculously high number.
So what we have in the making is a slugging third baseman with a good glove. Mathews and Schmidt represent the best of this class; other retired members would be Darrell Evans, Graig Nettles, Gary Gaetti, Ron Santo, etc. What will eventually decide how good a major leaguer Marte becomes is his walk rate. He's got a pretty good one in the minors so far, but it's not outstanding, and there's been a tendency for Braves prospects to lose some of their walks when they reach the majors. (Rafael Furcal is probably the most spectacular example, but also Marcus Giles, Andruw Jones among the top players; Adam LaRoche and Nick Green have suffered similar fates this year.)

Here is an interview with Andy Marte from Baseball Prospectus (Q&A with Andy Marte- subscribers only).

I'm from San Francisco de Macorís, and as every Dominican, played baseball since I was a kid. I played in a local league named "Liga Rafael Mena" and Mr. Mena himself saw that I had talent. He started to work with me, getting me ready and prepared to eventually sign for pro baseball. During that time, we found an attorney named Leo Mercedes and he became some sort of an agent for us. Then we were able to get non-immigrant visas from the U.S., eventually travel there, and the Braves signed me in Atlanta for a very good bonus.

Here's BA's blurb on their Trade forum after Marte was dealt:

Marte's swing has a natural uppercut that generates plenty of loft power, and the ball jumps off his bat. He can hit with power to all fields and has improved his walk rate as he has gained experience. He was rated the best defensive third baseman in the Triple-A International League in 2005, the fourth consecutive year he won such an honor in his league in Baseball America's annual survey of minor league managers.

Most recent Braves Top Ten Prospects List from Baseball America.

1. Jeff Francoeur
2. Andy Marte


By 2007, the lineup could contain four more homegrown players: outfielder Jeff Francoeur, shortstop Luis Hernandez, third baseman Andy Marte and catcher Brad McCann. Righty Kyle Davies is on track to crack the rotation by that point.

Braves Journal has a quibble with that ranking:

Brad is too polite to say it, but the people at Baseball America are insane. They rated Francouer, not Marte, the best prospect in the system. This is a pure "tools" choice in the classic BA style, and makes no sense whatsoever except if you care about nothing but a player's theoretical upside. I mean, Jeff Francouer could turn into Willie Mays, but it's very, very, very, very unlikely. He's not really likely to even be Dale Murphy. Meanwhile, Andy Marte has an excellent chance of being a perennial All-Star and winning a few home run titles. So he doesn't run fast, whoopie-doo.

Here's a decent Prospect in the Spotlight piece on Marte from www.athomeplate.com (a couple of small inaccuracies in the piece, however):

Born in the Dominican Republic, Marte started off just like any other kid: busting his butt to get noticed by some scouts. Rene Francisco, representing the Braves organization, did just that. Marte received a $600,000 signing bonus and put his name on the line.
What does the future hold for this future major leaguer? Marte is only 21 years old, quite early to be beginning his major league career. I would love to see the Braves send him to AAA and let him put the finishing touches on his batting stroke and defense. If he didn’t impress in spring training next season, then send him back to AAA for more work. If Marte does show he’s ready for a major league job, move Chipper Jones to left field (again), put Marte at the hot corner, and let Wilson Betemit take the everyday shortstop job (since Furcal will likely not be re-signed after this year).

One thing is for sure, however. Wherever the Braves finally choose to keep him, Andy Marte has the bat to stay there.

On Baseball America's 2005 2005 Top Ten Prospects List, Marte ranks 9th, behind the following players:

  1. Joe Mauer, MIN (C)

  2. Felix Hernandez, SEA (SP)

  3. Delmon Young, TBY (OF)

  4. Ian Stewart, COL (3B)

  5. Joel Guzman, LAD (SS)

  6. Casey Kotchman, LAA (1B)

  7. Scott Kazmir, NYM (SP)

  8. Rickie Weeks, MIL (2B)

  9. Andy Marte, ATL (3B)

Of the eight ahead of him, 4 have had significant ML service time in '05 (Mauer, Kotchman, Kazmir, Weeks), and 1 had semi-significant service time (Hernandez). The rest- Guzman, Stewart and Marte- are all hovering on the cusp. Here's the blurb under Marte's listing in the rankings (his scouting report on BA is subscriber-only):

"There's nothing not to like about Andy Marte. He's an outstanding defender with a chance to be an impact player offensively."
--Birmingham manager Razor Shines

This link is a bit older, but is very, very optimistic on Marte. The Baseball Analysts:

If I had to guess, Marte should mold into a .285/.380/.520 player, becoming an All-Star with the Braves. He should be on the Alexis Rios path, starting the year in the International League and getting the call around next June. What Scheurholtz does between now and then is anyone's guess, but we better stop calling them out of the race.
There's really not a story here folks, Andy Marte is the top prospect in baseball. He's one of the Southern League's most dominant hitters at the age of twenty, and his numbers reflect a huge breakout down the road. Avkash Patel be damned, the Braves just might never stop being contenders.

From Ron Shandler's website:

Strengths: Strong/compact body. Bat speed/power. Plate discipline. Arm strength. First-step quickness/agility.
Weaknesses: Pitch recognition. Average speed (4.3)
Comments: Uppercut swing and strong wrists propel bat through strike zone, allowing him to display power. BA will settle below .300, but could improve with more patience and use of whole field. Sound defender at hot corner, improving reads on groundballs and showing solid arm strength.
2006 MLB Role: Starting 3B
Potential: Starting 3B

Finally, here are Marte's Top 20 PECOTA comparables. The similiarty scores aren't that high- 50-60 is a strong comp, and below 30 really isn't so take that for what it's worth. The sim scores are the number next to the given year.

1 Miguel Cabrera 2004 34_____11 MARCUS GILES 2000 16
2 Ron Santo 1961 30__________12 JUSTIN HUBER 2004 15
3 Ken McMullen 1964 29_______13 SCOTT HAIRSTON 2002 14
4 Andres Mora 1977 28________14 ERIC CHAVEZ 1999 13
5 Tony Horton 1966 27________15 ROLANDO SEGURA 2000 13
6 Ron Swoboda 1966 25________16 KELLY JOHNSON 2003 13
7 RYAN RABURN 2002 23________17 Jeff Burroughs 1972 12
8 Ed Kirkpatrick 1966 23_____18 NATE ESPY 2000 12
9 Kevin Bell 1977 20_________19 BRAD HAWPE 2001 11
10 DAVID WRIGHT 2004 19______20 Ken Henderson 1968 11

Finally, from BP, who ranked him the #1 prospect in baseball prior to 2005:

"The best prospect in baseball and a future superstar. As a 20-year-old toiling in the mostly hitter-unfriendly Southern League, Marte hit .269/.364/.525. In only 387 at-bats, he smacked 52 extra-base hits. He's got monstrous power and a broad base of hitting skills. In his prime, expect a few seasons of Adrian Beltre, circa 2004."

Here's my post-trade Top Fifteen Red Sox prospects list:

  1. Andy Marte, 3B

  2. Jonathan Papelbon, SP

  3. Jon Lester, SP

  4. Dustin Pedroia, 2B

  5. Craig Hansen, RP

  6. Kelly Shoppach

  7. David Murphy, OF

  8. Manny Delcarmen, RP

  9. Brandon Moss, OF

  10. Jed Lowrie, MI

  11. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF

  12. Clay Buchholz, SP

  13. Edgar Martinez, RP

  14. Abe Alvarez, SP

  15. Luis Soto, OF

______________________________ |


How can anyone NOT love this trade? Thanks for all the info, JTB.

By Blogger Black Franchise, at 12/11/2005 11:51 PM  

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