Marte will return to the leadoff role for PIT in 2014, but will he be able to replicate his .340+ OBP?
I recall a Twitter conversation I had with Fangraphs’ Eno Sarris before the 2013 season, one that centered around Pittsburgh’s Starling Marte. More specifically, it centered around Marte’s chances at sticking in the leadoff spot.
Batting in front of Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez would provide any batter with a significant number of run-scoring opportunities, especially a player with Marte’s speed, but would Marte get on base enough to warrant such an honor? Given his 5.1% minor league walk rate, that was a fair question.
I figured that Marte would be given a long leash batting leadoff — who else did Pittsburgh have? — and our preseason rankings reflected both our faith in his abilities as well as the Pirates’ lack of alternatives.
As it turns out, Marte’s on-base ability proved to be a moot point as he posted a .395 OBP through the season’s first month and never relinquished t...