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Olney: D-backs’ Ketel Marte is third-best second baseman in MLB

Arizona Diamondbacks' Ketel Marte smiles after hitting a home run during an intrasquad baseball game Tuesday, July 7, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Ketel Marte’s breakout season for the Arizona Diamondbacks last year caught the eye of many national writers across the sport, including ESPN’s Buster Olney who ranked the 26-year-old as the third-best second baseman in the MLB.

Olney in the article highlighted Marte’s work with the bat last season as a reasoning for the placement.

Marte had an adjusted OPS+ of 149, 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+.

Those 187 hits were a career-high for Marte, who also set high marks for average (.329) home runs (32), RBIs (92), runs (97) on-base percentage (.389) and slugging (.592).

Marte made his first All-Star team, starting the game at second base for the National League, and finished the season fourth in MVP voting.

While being listed in the ranking as a second baseman, Marte spent more games last season manning center field (96) than at second base (83).

His six defensive runs saved in center field last season placed him at No. 11 in MLB, another breakout stat after only spending two regular-season games at the position with the Seattle Mariners four years earlier.

After the offseason acquisition of Starling Marte from the Pittsburgh Pirates, Ketel Marte figures to shift back to second base where he has a total of 16 defensive runs saved across 218 games at the position in his career.

Along with Marte’s skills with the bat and glove, Olney also noted Marte’s team-friendly, $24-million contract that will have him under team control through 2024.

He’s 26 years old, so the deal will carry through his prime years.

Ranked ahead of Marte on Olney’s list is New York Yankees second baseman D.J. LeMahieu and Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros.


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