ESPN: D-backs’ Ketel Marte a top-3 center fielder in MLB
The Arizona Diamondbacks continue their search for center field options.
Luckily, their worst-case scenario is sticking an all-star who ESPN ranked as the No. 3 center fielder back at the position.
Ketel Marte broke out last season, making his first All-Star Game appearance and finishing fourth in the National League MVP race.
ESPN’s Buster Olney considers him one of the best in the league at the position, below only Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels and George Springer of the Houston Astros.
Olney’s notes on Marte included:
“Marte had an adjusted OPS+ of 149, a tick below Springer’s, with lots of hits (187) and power (77 extra-base hits).”
“Only six players had more total bases than Marte’s 337, and Marte ranked eighth in wRC+.”
For those who prefer traditional metrics to advanced stats like OPS+ and wRC+, Marte hit .329 with 32 home runs, 92 RBIs and had an OPS of .981, the seventh-best in the league.
Marte also performed well defensively despite it being his first time in the outfield since joining the Diamondbacks. He had six defensive runs saved in center field, according to Fangraphs, which was tied for eighth at the position the league.
This likely doesn’t contribute to Olney’s rankings in terms of talent, but the ESPN reporter does note how team-friendly of a deal Marte is on. Arizona has team control for the next five seasons and the largest payment is a 2024 team option of $10 million.
As the Diamondbacks continue looking for improvements, they know they can count on Marte, whether in the infield or out.
The league and Olney learned that over this past season, too.