Starling Marte and Kyle McPherson Are Top Eastern League Prospects

Baseball America continued their top 20 prospect lists today with the 2011 Eastern League top 20.  Two Pirates prospects made the list: Starling Marte and Kyle McPherson.  Scouting reports for all of the top 20 can be viewed here by subscribers.

Marte was named the seventh best prospect in the league, and the fourth best hitting prospect.  Baseball America mentioned that he has similar tools to Austin Jackson.  Marte had a strong season, although injury shortened, in 2010, but didn’t make the top 20 prospect list in Baseball America’s view of the 2010 Florida State League.

Kyle McPherson was named the 20th best prospect in the league, after putting up a 3.02 ERA in 89 innings.  It is odd that McPherson made this list, but was left off the Florida State League list.  A scout quoted by Baseball America mentioned that McPherson looks like a middle of the rotation innings eater.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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I don’t put much stock in these lists, but if you are going to trade some prospects some day, how they rank seems to mean a lot.


Gose > Marte? Questionable.


Gose walks more and is faster on the basepaths.  Marte strikes out less and has better contact.  Both have similar power and defensive value.  All those factors considered it seems even, but the kicker is Gose is basically two years younger than Marte.

With that in mind, it makes sense.  Both are great prospects though.  I’m glad we have one of them.


Gose whiffs way too often for my taste. I worry about Marte’s K-rate. Gose had 154 Ks this year. That’s disturbing. Marte, on the other hand, is slowly decreasing his K-rate.

I’d say Marte was the better prospect just because of his superior ability to make contact with the pitches he faces.


Fair points.  The thing is Gose also walks a good bit and he’s still so young.  I’m confident he would have much better numbers had he been playing at low-A (the equivalent of WV) this past year, which would be in line with the time table Marte took.

They are similar players, but actually have two fairly different comps.  My comp for Marte for the last year has been Angel Pagan, who’s a very good player, even if he doesn’t put up sexy offensive stats.  A good comp for Gose that I’ve seen mentioned elsewhere is Chris Young, just with less power but more defensive value.  Low average, high K’s, but an ability to walk, an ability to hit a HR, and an ability to steal a base (which Gose excels at), all packaged in an solid (elite in Gose’s case) defensive CF.

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