Historic switch-hitting duo Marte, Escobar paying off for D-backs
Wednesday’s offensive explosion for the Arizona Diamondbacks not only gives the team a boost heading into an important series with the Milwaukee Brewers, but made a little bit of history as well.
Eduardo Escobar’s second home run in the 19-4 pummeling of the Texas Rangers was the sixth time this season that a D-back has hit a home run from both sides of the plate in a single game.
It was the second time Escobar has done it this season; the other occasion coming on June 10 against the Philidelphia Phillies.
Before 2019, the feat had only been completed five times in D-backs history. The duo is the third pair of players from the same team to each have multiple games hitting home runs from both sides of the plate in the same season.
Tony Clark is responsible for two of the occurrences in D-backs history, while Orlando Hudson, Felipe Lopez and Alex Cintron each did it once as well.
The Indians had Carlos Santana do it twice and Jose Ramirez three times during the 2017 season, while the Yankees had Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira do it three times each in 2009.
But it’s current Arizona middle infielder Ketel Marte that tops the leaderboard when it comes to the feat. He’s done it four times in his stint with the D-backs, once occurring last season and three times this season, most recently on May 3 against the Rockies.
That shouldn’t be a surprise. Marte earned the spot as the starting second baseman for the NL All-Star team with .313/.365/.569 splits and 21 home runs, a number that exceeds his career high in a season by seven.
There’s been practically no difference from either side of the plate from Marte. He’s batting .315/.375/.553 with 12 home runs as a left-handed batter and .313/.347/.616 with nine home runs as a right-handed batter.
Escobar hasn’t had quite the same switch-hitting success as Marte this season. The splits aren’t terrible, but a clear difference is present. He’s batting .245/.317/.462 as a lefty, but those numbers soar when he bats right-handed, climbing up to .390/.410/.729.
The D-backs third baseman has found power from both sides of the plate, though. Despite the massive difference in batting average, his home run total from the left side (12) edges out his right-handed total (9) by only three.
Marte as a lefty and Escobar as a righty are one of the best duos in baseball. Per StatMuse, the Arizona sluggers are the second-best switch-hitting pair in baseball this season, ranking only behind Pirates’ Josh Bell and Bryan Reynolds in combined wRAA.
Marte and Escobar have the highest and third-highest WARs overall on the team this season, respectively, with ace Zack Greinke splitting the two switch hitters.