33.4 F
Saturday, November 26, 2022

Winter Leagues: Starling Marte is Off to a Slow Start

In the Dominican on Tuesday night, Starling Marte went 0-for-3, leaving him 3-for-23 through six games, with a double, triple and a walk. He played center field for the first time and picked up an outfield assist for the second game in a row.

We mentioned on Tuesday morning that Edwin Espinal had become a minor league free agent. There is still a chance for the Pirates to re-sign him, they seem to re-sign at least one player each year after they reach minor league free agency. On Tuesday night, Espinal went 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs. That gave him a .367/.466/.449 slash line through 15 games. He ranks third in the league in batting average and OPS, and second in OBP.

Pablo Reyes went 2-for-4 with his third double of the winter. He now has a .227/.314/.295 slash line through 16 games.

Anderson Feliz also became a minor league free agent this week. He went 1-for-3 with a bases loaded triple on Tuesday. He’s batting .360 through 25 at-bats.

Jung-Ho Kang had a scheduled night off.

In Mexico, the third new minor league free agent from this group went 1-for-3 with his third double and a sacrifice fly. Carlos Munoz is now hitting .319/.417/.435 through 22 games. The league in Mexico is high offense, so while those are strong numbers (especially for someone with no Double-A experience), he ranks 20th in the league in OPS. An .851 OPS in the Dominican would rank him sixth in the league.

In Venezuela, Bravos de Margarita said that they now expect Elias Diaz and Jose Osuna to join the team later in the month of November. A week or so ago, they said they hoped to get them around the middle of the month.

In Colombia, we still don’t have stats through four games, but 17-year-old Francisco Acuna has started at shortstop in every game. So far, he’s the only one of seven Pittsburgh Pirates in the league to play. The other six all appear to be on reserve rosters at this time. It’s likely that four of them (three July 2nd signings and catcher Yair Babilonia) are in the Dominican right now for the Instructional League. The other two would be Santiago Florez and Luis Arrieta, both pitchers. The Pirates don’t let young pitchers play winter ball too often, so that might be why they haven’t played yet.

+ posts

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.


Pirates Prospects has been independently owned and operated since 2009, entirely due to the support of our readers. The site is now completely free, funded entirely by user support. By supporting the site, you are supporting independent writers, one of the best Pittsburgh Pirates communities online, and our mission for the most complete Pirates coverage available.

Related articles

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
IC Bob

Other than in this chat section I have not heard one word about moving Marte. I do think Cutch will be gone and possibly Harrison and Cole. I think we will have a pretty good idea of whats going to happen by mid December

Scott K

Wanna bet? For better or worse, this core stays together until next July.


Marte won’t be going anywhere. Doubt they pull the trigger on Cole this winter, maybe at the deadline. Personally, I’m more interested in what the front office will add this off-season in terms of going for a bunch of 1-2 year deal stopgaps in the bullpen, infield and 4th outfielder which would signal they’re relying on controlled players like Marte, Polanco, Taillon, Bell, etc. and their prospects for future success or if they grab anyone on a longer deal for the bullpen or a Zach Cozart for the infield to supplement the core.

dr dng

Jimmy, my thoughts about what they will
do this off season… Not much.


That’s my assumption too but this is the time of year for thinking about what new toys you can potentially play with.

Scott K

Don’t do it. No reason to get your hopes up, you’ll only be disappointed.


I agree. We also might know more about Kang in December. I don’t think the Pirates will wait long if they determine there’s no chance for him to get a visa.


Hopefully they make a move before they know for certain about Kang’s status.


Really, I would think long and hard about moving Marte. Timing just might not be right.

Share article

Latest articles


Latest comments