SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — There’s pretty minimal question Arizona’s Ketel Marte will be a excellent baseball participant this time. He can hit for common, steal bases, smash homers and perform multiple defensive positions at a higher degree.
But if the Diamondbacks want to bounce back from a disappointing 2020 time, they most likely really don’t just need the excellent version of Marte.
They need the good one particular.
The 27-yr-outdated has previously proven which is doable. He experienced a breakout time in 2019, making the NL All-Star staff and finishing fourth in the MVP voting right after batting .329 with 32 homers, 36 doubles and ninety two RBIs although actively playing previously mentioned-common defense at second foundation and center field.
Early in D-backs spring camp this 7 days, the swap-hitter flashed a several sweet still left-handed swings in the course of batting observe, launching the ball over the suitable-field wall.
“It’s remarkable,” infielder Asdrubal Cabrera reported. “He’s received the expertise to be a celebrity.”
That’s exactly why Marte’s 2020 time was so disappointing, even if he was still reasonably effective. He hit .287 and delivered his regular excellent defense, but his walk fee and electricity plummeted. He finished with just seven walks and two homers in 195 plate appearances.
Marte reported things simply didn’t go as prepared in the pandemic-shortened time.
“Last yr was a minimal hard for me due to the fact it was a sixty-activity plan,” Marte reported. “I tried to make adjustments that didn’t do the job out. I experienced a tiny (hand) injuries that afflicted me, but that injuries is totally healed now. I’m all set to go for 2021.”
Marte’s regression mirrored a challenging time for the Diamondbacks, who finished past in the NL West with a twenty five-35 record. Regardless of the lousy yr, Arizona didn’t make several moves in the offseason, bringing back most of the roster in an hard work to verify that 2020 was a fluke.
A nutritious and tricky-hitting Marte in the middle of the lineup would go a very long way toward making that materialize. Arizona GM Mike Hazen reported he has every single reason to feel the 6-foot-one, 210-pounder will bounce back.
“He seems good,” Hazen reported. “He’s an elite athlete, he’s youthful, he’s sensible, he’s a excellent hitter.”
Now Hazen and supervisor Torey Lovullo are shelling out the very first several months in camp figuring out the place they want to use Marte in the field this time. He played mostly center in the course of his breakout 2019 time but played a large amount of second foundation in 2020.
The staff has several possibilities for Marte due to the fact they’ve received multiple gamers who perform multiple positions. Eduardo Escobar can be utilised at both equally second and third although the newly acquired Cabrera plays third, second and very first.
Speedster Tim Locastro is an option for extra time in center and can perform all 3 outfield places. Prospects like Andy Young and Josh Rojas can also move all-around the diamond at multiple places.
Marte reported he seems forward to obtaining a discussion with Lovullo about what his defensive options are for this time. He enjoys actively playing multiple positions, nevertheless he reported he’d inevitably like to obtain a home at one particular of them.
“I’d like sometime to perform one particular situation and quite possibly gain a Gold Glove, but I’ll retain undertaking what the club is asking me to do just to gain games and be in the lineup every single working day,” Marte reported.
Hazen and Lovullo praised Marte’s unselfishness and reported figuring out his job is a excellent problem to have.
“Some times I come to feel like he’s a Gold Glove center fielder or a Gold Glove second baseman,” Lovullo reported. “But I imagine his flexibility is likely to allow us to have the most competitive lineup on the field just about every night time which is likely to enable us to score the most operates.”