Found September 28, 2012 on Pirates Prospects:

When rookie Starling Marte was promoted to the big leagues for his long awaited debut on July 26th, Manager Clint Hurdle gave the young outfielder advice — to respect everything and fear nothing. The message seemed to have soaked in when he stepped to the plate for the first time in the Majors in Houston. Marte took the very first pitch he saw from left-hander Dallas Keuchel and launched it to left field for a leadoff solo-homer. Marte became just the second Pirates player to homer on the first pitch of his career. The other was Walter Mueller on May 7, 1922.

“Very excited,” Marte said of his first big league at-bat through first base coach Luis Silverio. “[I] can’t describe the emotion that [I] felt in that first at-bat. It’s something that [I’ve] dreamed about. When [I] came to the big leagues, the first pitch [I] was going to see, [I] was going to swing. And luckily [I] connected for a home run.”

“We’ve had a lot of talks,” Triple-A Manager Dean Treanor said. “I saw him in the Dominican last winter, so we were familiar with each other. We built a good relationship. He talks about me being his American father. This guy knows what he wants to do, what wants to do in this game. And here he is. He made an impact when he first got here. He’s a great kid, and couldn’t be happier for him.”

While he had an impressive debut against the Astros, it was his progression in Triple-A this season that allowed him to find success in his rookie season at just 23-years-old.

The outfielder was coming off being named the Pirates Minor League Player-of-the-Year after his 2011 season at Double-A Altoona. Marte won the Eastern League batting title and was named Rookie-of-the-Year after a .332/.370/.500 line with a career-high 38 doubles and 12 homers with 24 stolen bases. Marte turned heads and raised the question that maybe he was ready to break camp with the Pirates out of spring training. Over 12 games with the big league club, Marte hit for a .520/.520/.920 line and two stolen bases, but was sent to Triple-A to start the 2012 campaign.

“Big strides, big strides,” Treanor said. “And that’s why he’s here. From the start of the season in April, to when he came here, he’s made some huge strides really in all aspects of the game. I think he got much more comfortable.”

Marte hit for a .282/.343/.492 line over 100 games before being promoted to the Majors. He tied his career-high 12 long balls while connecting for a career-high 13 triples.

“The biggest thing is that he got a little better strike zone discipline, awareness of what the pitchers were trying to do to him. There’s a lot of veteran pitchers in that league, which is why he was there and needed to be there and why I think he grew so fast. I think you see it here. He’ll still swing at balls out of the zone, but everybody does that. I think out of everybody down there, he made the biggest strides and the quickest.”

“The strike zone knowledge was the biggest improvement for me,” Marte said. “That was something that [I] worked on pretty hard on.”

After Marte’s impressive 2-for-4 debut, he went on to hit four home runs and two triples and a .253 average before suffering an oblique injury that forced him on the disabled list on August 18th. The Pirates lost their spark at the top of the lineup, and the impressive arm and speed in the spacious left field at PNC Park. Marte missed nearly three weeks and fought his way back at the plate. Marte started off with an 0-for-10 skid, before getting back on track.

“Injuries happen and I was a little frustrated, not being able to help the club,” Marte said. “But [I] came back with a positive mind and [I’m] pretty happy where [I] am now, especially after the first few games. [I] didn’t have my timing down, but right now, [I’m] feeling pretty comfortable at the plate.”

Marte has just one hit in his last six at-bats before combing for five in his 12 prior. Marte has impressed the most with his speed. The outfielder was touted for his set of wheels on both the base paths and in the field, and he’s already shown fans a glimpse of what he’s capable of doing.

The rookie tripled in three straight games while the club was in Chicago in September for the first time since Andrew McCutchen accomplished the same feat from June 19-21 in his rookie season in 2009. Marte became just the third in franchise history. Only Bob Elliott in June of 1940 tripled in three straight games. Marte has five so far over 152 at-bats this season and his 10 stolen bases marks the fourth straight season a Pirates rookie has swiped at least 10 bags in a season (Chase d’Arnaud recorded 12 last season, Jose Tabata had 19 in 2010 and Andrew McCutchen had 22 in 2009).

While the 23-year-old is still getting his feet wet, Marte entered the season as the Pirates top hitting prospect, and there’s no doubt that his future is bright.

“It’s been a very interesting year,” Marte said. “[I’ve] worked very hard from where [I’ve] come from. [I’m] still working hard to maintain that at the level that [I'm] playing at right now.”


Pirates Notebook: Rough Start From Correia Sends Club 80th Loss; McCutchen, Walker Updates

Image Courtesy: Pittsburgh Pirates The Pittsburgh Pirates needed a strong start from Kevin Correia on Thursday for their final road game of the 2012 season. Facing a Cy Young Award candidate in New York’s R.A. Dickey, and their 20th consecutive losing season on the line, Correia gave the club the chance to notch their 77th win through his first four frames. But a four-run fifth...

Pirates Notebook: McPherson Makes A Lasting Impression

Kyle McPherson may have only thrown 20.1 innings in the Majors before taking the mound on Saturday night in Pittsburgh, but the 24-year-old looked nothing like a rookie against the National League Central best Cincinnati Reds. Looking to make a lasting impression in his final start of the 2012 season, and to put himself into conversation for a spot in the Pirates rotation out of spring trainin...

VIDEO: Travis Snider makes amazing home run saving catch

The Pittsburgh Pirates and their fans haven’t had much to get excited about the second half of the season. Much like last year after starting out strong the Pirates have faded away and out of the playoff race. However if it’s any sort of very small consolation, Travis Snider made what could be considered the catch of the year robbing New York’s Mike Baxter of the home run. h/t:

VIDEO: Pirates' Travis Snider makes incredible home run-robbing grab

Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Travis Snider made a "Catch of the Year" candidate on Thursday afternoon against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Watch Snider scale the wall in Spider-Man-esque fashion to rob the Mets' Mike Baxter of a home run: Get the latest Thigh updates by following us on Facebook & Twitter. a2a_linkname=document.title;a2a_linkurl=location.href;

Coming home with 80 losses

The Pirates lost yet again on Thursday as their hopes at salvaging a .500 season continue to go down the drain, but hey, at least the game will make SportsCenter. It was notable for two reasons: RA Dickey’s 20th win and an absolutely incredible catch by Travis Snider. The Pirates actually got off to a good start against Dickey, scoring twice in the second inning. Garrett Jones...

Are The Pittsburgh Pirates Allergic To Winning?

After today’s loss to the New York Mets, there is absolutely no margin for error if the Pittsburgh Pirates hope to end their 19-year losing streak. If the Pirates truly want to crush their fans hearts in style, they should win four games then lose the last two and finish just below the mark. That seems to be how they do things around here.Look at the fact they got to 16 games over...

(Video + Audio) Here's all 4 calls (Radio + TV) of Travis Snider's

Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Travis Snider's catch is the talk of the sports world for his outer worldly robbery of NY Mets outfielder Mike Baxter's potential tying home run today. Here are all 4... Full story at Bob's Blitz ~

Here are two GIFs of Travis Snider’s unbelievable catch

Travis Snider climbs the wall and robs Mike Baxter

Your browser does not support iframes. This could be the play of the year. In the second inning of today's Pirates-Mets game, Mike Baxter of the Mets bashed a Kevin Correia pitch deep to right field that looked like a surefire home run. Pittsburgh right fielder Travis Snider continued his run of amazing defense by climbing the right field fence, hanging on, reaching his glove...

Reds edged late by Pirates

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Andrew McCutchen hit a solo home run off Jonathan Broxton with one out in the ninth inning, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Cincinnati Reds 2-1 Saturday night. A day after getting no-hit by Cincinnati's Homer Bailey, the Pirates won with eight hits. McCutchen's 31st homer helped Pittsburgh keep a record 20th consecutive losing season at bay for...

Pirates 2, Reds 1

Andrew McCutchen hit a solo home run off Jonathan Broxton with one out in the ninth inning, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Cincinnati Reds 2-1 Saturday night. A day after getting no-hit by Cincinnati's Homer Bailey, the Pirates won with eight hits. McCutchen's 31st homer helped Pittsburgh keep a record 20th consecutive losing season at bay for at least a day. The...

McCutchen leaves game vs Mets with injury

National League batting leader Andrew McCutchen came out of Pittsburgh's game against the New York Mets in the seventh inning Thursday after appearing to hurt a leg while making a diving catch. McCutchen trapped a soft fly into short center by Daniel Murphy and threw to second to force Ruben Tejada, who began the play on first base and wasn't sure whether the ball was caught...

Pittsburgh Pirates no hit by Homer Bailey of the Cincinnati Reds, secure 20th straight non winning season.

Congratulations to Homer Bailey and the Cincinnati Reds, who defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 1-0.  The Pirates secured their 20th season without a winning record by banging out a total of zero hits. Zero. The Pirates were 60-44 on August 1st. Today, the Bucs are 76-81, hitless, and an organization that must be paying for the sins of a Pittsburgh Steeler franchise that...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

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

Company Info
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.