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Friday, February 5, 2016

2016 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT SLEEPER: KETEL MARTE SS SEATTLE MARINERS

The Seattle Mariners have been trying for a few seasons now to find a viable starting shortstop and have come up short at every turn.  With Brad Miller having been the latest failure (and subsequently moved to the Tampa Bay Rays in a winter move), the M's are now looking at another young speedy hitter who may fill the ongoing void there.  We are talking about 22-year-old Ketel Marte who enters into the 2016 season as the favorite to be the Opening Day shortstop for the team.  Coming off a 2015 rookie campaign where Marte opened some eyes by hitting .283 with 2 home runs and 8 steals in just 219 at-bats, there are some tools worth looking at when it comes to the arriving 2016 fantasy baseball season.  Let's dig in more here and find out what Marte is capable in our fake game.

Even before being promoted to the Mariners in the middle of the 2015 season, Marte was having an excellent campaign at Triple-A where he batted .314 with 3 home runs and 20 steals in just 287 at-bats.  What stands out here is the fact Marte is a very solid contact hitter who can pop the occasional home runs but who will make his hay as a possible top of the order guy who can score a bunch of runs and swipe a high number of bases.  The hitting profile works here as Marte keeps his strikeouts down (just 17.4 percent with the Mariners as a rookie last season, a tiny 11.1 percent at Triple-A prior to his call to the majors), while also showing very good patience (9.7 percent with Seattle).  The result is that Marte is the classic .300 hitter who could approach that number or at the very least be around .280 in 2016.  If the Mariners make the right call and have Marte bat leadoff or in the two slot, he will be a major threat to score 80-plus runs and steals 25 or more bases.  The speed is very good here as Marte has shown at all levels and he even has some pop to hit home runs once in awhile to not make him a zero in that category for you.

When you put it all together, Ketel Marte has some very good upside at a tremendously shallow fantasy baseball position of shortstop for you to look into for 2016.  The kid has some skills that look to be a help to all of us and his the screen in Seattle makes his draft price very affordable. 

2016 PROJECTION:  .288 4 HR 53 RBI 75 R 24 SB 

 

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