Over the past week, Marte hit .458 (good for third in all of the International League) with two home runs, eight doubles, a .567 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .958.
Even better (or worse, depending on how you look at it), Marte is the first player since May of 2006 to win the award in back-to-back years. The most recent player was Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels who – at the time – was a “can’t miss” prospect. That’s right: the 2008 World Series MVP and our own Andy Marte.
As things stand today, the 25-year old Andy Marte is second in the International League in batting average (.322) and slugging percentage (.544). He has clubbed 46 RBI as well as 11 home runs.
Is there any player that has showed as much potential in the minor leagues to only fall flat on his face at the next level? Sure, Brandon Phillips started slow, but he produced with the Reds. Josh Barfield had potential, but he’s even struggling at the Triple-A level. Marte had years of at least 20 home runs at every stage in the minor leagues. But once called upon at the major league level, he struggles to even touch the Mendoza line.
If there is any glaring difference to this season versus those in the past, it is the batting average. Even during all of the high home run seasons, Marte has always been a guy that hit between .260 and .275. Now, the third baseman is well above .300 with an OPS over 140 points higher than last season. He’s even hitting over .300 against both left-handers and right-handers. Is this an anomaly? Who knows. But given what he has provided (or hasn’t provided) with the Indians in the past, it seems that he may be out of chances.
I mean, he was designated for assignment and NO other teams picked him up off of waivers. It would only figure that while we’re waiting for guys like Matt LaPorta and Michael Brantley to get the call, now Marte puts up one of his best seasons at the plate. He’s even one of three Clippers representing Columbus in the IL All-Star game.
The trade of Mark DeRosa to St. Louis may have opened up some time for Marte at third base, but one has to hope that if the team has already decided on a future without Marte that they would take what they can get for him while he’s winning awards instead of waiting until it is too late.