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Thursday, March 8, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: STARLING MARTE OUTFIELDER PITTSBURGH PIRATES

Oh these PED guys.  As stupid as these guys are for getting pinched with the new testing program, the fallout in terms of fantasy baseball centers on how these hitters and pitchers will respond once seemingly off the juice.  As we saw with Dee Gordon and his excellent performance in 2017 coming off his PED suspension the previous year, it can be risky automatically assuming a drop-off in performance is imminent.  That brings up to Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte who got busted 80 games for PED's at the start of the 2018 season but who played well when he finally did  come back during the summer to the tune of the following numbers:

.275
7 HR
48 R
31 RBI
21 SB

Those totals came in only 339 at-bats and so it is clear that Marte remains a major running force on the base paths who has gone for as many as 47 steals in 2016.  The real key with Marte is how much power he will hit for and what the average will be.  In terms of power, Marte's career-best in home runs is 19 back in 2015 in 633 at-bats.  So clearly, power and home runs are not going to be a huge portion of Marte's player portfolio.  On the flip side, Marte is far from a zero in that category and if he can get another 600 at-bats, 15-plus is very likely with around 65 RBI.

Now in terms of the batting average, Marte remains allergic to walks (BB/9 under 5.00 in four of his MLB campaigns) and that always puts a hurt on average..  In addition, Marte hovers near the 20.0 K/9 mark which is not terrible but not great either.  So the .275 Marte batted last season seems a good place to project him moving forward as he is not a .300 guy.

When you put it all together, Starling Marte has the tools to be a top OF 2 for 2018 fantasy baseball is he avoids the pills and stays healthy.  40 steals, 15 homers, and 90-plus runs should be the highlight and when you add in the slightly dipping ADP, some decent value can be had with the guy.

2018 PROJECTION:  .279 16 HR 65 RBI 89 R 32 SB  


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