Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 11/19/14

Starling Marte should debut with the Pirates at some point in 2012

In the past couple of weeks, the hot rumor in circulation is that the Atlanta Braves are going heavy after Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles.  The rumored deal involves Jair Juirrens and Martin Prado from the Braves for Jones of the Orioles.  The holdup in the deal discussions has been what level of pitching prospect the Braves would additionally provide.  There are some folks in the Braves’ fanbase and members of the national media that have wondered what all the fuss is about for Adam Jones, he of the lifetime .319 on-base percentage and sometimes questionable defensive ability.

Adam Jones was once a hot property of the Seattle Mariners and actually debuted with them in 2006 in his 20-year old season.  In February 2008, Jones was the centerpiece of the deal that sent he and 4 additional players to the Orioles in exchange for Erik Bedard.  It was seen as quite the coup for the Orioles at the time.  Since 2008, Jones has been the Orioles everyday CF and provided them with WAR’s of 1.8, 1.8, 2.6, and 2.9 (in order) during that timeframe.

Jones’ career batting line is .275/.319/.437 (756 OPS) with an isolated slugging percentage of .161 and a weighted on-base average (wOBA) of .329.  Considering that an average wOBA is considered to be .330 and you see that Jones’ batting contributions have been so-so, even though he is a good source of power as he matures, as evidenced by his 25 HR in 2011 and .339 wOBA.

OK…so what does any of this have to do with Pirates’ prospect Starling Marte?

To go along with the career batting line shown above, Jones also sports a career BB rate of 4.8% and a K rate of 19.7%.  Both of those rates are very similar to Marte’s rates this year, with the caveat that Marte did that at the AA level and not the major league level.  However, the point being is to show that for those folks who follow prospects and fret about Marte’s low walk rates, there is a good example of how a player can still be an above-average regular without a strong walk rate.

The reason why we here at Pirates Prospects have been so bullish on Marte for 2 years now is that we feel that Marte brings more to the table, even if his bat does not develop.  His speed and outfield defense will make him an attractive asset.  Both of these tools are more highly regarded than Jones’ present-day speed and defense.

Adam Jones has a career UZR/150 rating of -3.4, with 2011′s season rating of -8.5.  Pairing that with his above-referenced league-average wOBA (it was slightly above-average in 2011 with a .339) and you would get the makings of an average or slightly below-average player.  However, Jones had his highest career WAR last year with a +2.9, as his baserunning metric buoyed his total.  This emcompasses not only pure stolen bases, but also taking the extra base from 1st to 3rd and moving up on sacrifice flies.

Let’s look at Jones’ worst full-season offensive stat line from 2008, which was his first full-year in the majors.  That year, Jones had a triple slash line of .270/.311/.400 (711 OPS) for a .313 wOBA and an ISO of .130.  It is hard for me to believe that Marte, who has never batted below .300 in the minors since coming stateside, can not put up at least a line like that in his first full year.  In 2008, Jones was shown to be competent in CF with a 6.6 UZR/150 and good baserunning metrics.  With that blah offensive line and good secondary skills, Jones had a 1.8 WAR for the year.  Essentially, he was to be considered an above-average player, using the 2.0 WAR threshold.  During that 2008 season, Jones hit 9 home runs.  It remains to be seen what Marte’s true major-league power ceiling will be, but I would conservatively say that 15 may be his max.  So while Marte may not hit 25 like Jones did in 2011, or have a .170 ISO in his career, he may balance that out by stealing many more bases than Jones has done heretofore.

Although no two players are perfect comps for each other, it is interesting to see a player in the major leagues that is giving his team good value with what statistics show is just a league-average bat, home run totals not withstanding.


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

K.J. Wright: Targeting injured players 'unacceptable'

Five reasons the Patriots will win the Super Bowl

Five reasons the Seahawks will win the Super Bowl

Bill Simmons fires a shot at ESPN colleague Ray Lewis

Which teams are most squarely on the bubble?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tiger Woods: 'There was blood everywhere' after tooth incident

Jerry Rice: Asterisk needed if Patriots win Super Bowl

Pete Carroll ok with Robert Kraft despite Patriots firing

Winners and losers of the Senior Bowl

Report: NFL approved under-inflated balls from Patriots

New MLB commissioner: Return to Montreal is possible

Ranking all 48 Super Bowls

'Goodell Must Go' mobile banners heading to Phoenix

NFL pushing College Football Playoff to change its schedule

Can the Yankees avoid paying A-Rod's milestone bonuses?

Tom Brady once got locked in a high school locker

Fire alarm at Patriots' hotel goes off early Tuesday morning

Petition to remove Pats from Super Bowl has 40K+ signatures

Richard Sherman is not pleased with Roger Goodell

Buffalo Bills: The greatest champion that never was

Six best Super Bowl coaches of all-time

Five key matchups for Super Bowl XLIX

Early B1G predictions for 2015

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Super Bowl XLIX: Players to watch

Ranking all 48 Super Bowls

Bill Simmons fires a shot at Ray Lewis

NFL pushing CFP to change schedule

Can Yanks not pay A-Rod his bonuses?

Petition started to remove Pats from SB

On John Wall's adidas J Wall 1 NYC All-Star Edition

NFL approved Pats' under-inflated balls?

Six best Super Bowl coaches of all-time

Five key matchups for Super Bowl XLIX

Early Big Ten predictions for 2015

Remembering Ernie Banks

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.