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Countdown to Arizona Diamondbacks Opening Day: D-25, Ketel Marte

A young shortstop who won’t take a walk? Sounds familiar, somehow...

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Cincinnati Reds v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

We asked you to rank the 40-man roster along with the 16 non-roster invitees to spring training, and every day between now and the eve of Opening Day, we’ll have a profile of one of those Diamondbacks.

D minus 25: Ketel Marte

  • Date of birth: October 12, 1993
  • Ht/Wt: 6’1”, 165 lbs
  • Position: Infielder
  • Status: 40-man roster
  • Bats/Throws: S/R
  • 2016 MLB numbers: 119 games, 466 PA, .259/.287/.323, 1 HR, 33 RBI
  • SnakePit Rating: 5.02 [pattern of votes below]

Like Mitch Haniger, Marte was probably overlooked in the Walker for Segura trade. He made a strong impression in his rookie campaign, putting up 2.3 bWAR in just 57 games for the Mariners. But Ketel was not able to reach anything like that in 2016, being worth just 0.3 WAR in more than twice as many games. His health may have played a part: he hit .272 in the first half, then caught something “mono”-like during the All-Star break in the DR, and was never quite the same, batting .236 with only five extra-base hits (all doubles) thereafter. But Marte didn’t just hit less, his ability to walk evaporated last year, his BB rate imploding from 9.7% to a sub-Owingsesque 3.9%.

Owings is perhaps an interesting comparison, as both men endured a “sophomore slump” - CO was a year older during his 2015 campaign - and have a low walk-rate, which leaves their output very dependent on their hitting. Owings rebounded last season, even if he still refused to take bases on balls, so we’ll see if Marte can do the same. Though I’d be happier if he also showed the better plate discipline he had in 2015. Given his age, I think he’s perhaps better off playing every day for Reno, rather than sitting on the bench and getting intermittent at-bats in Phoenix. I would likely prefer an Owings/Ahmed tandem at short in 2017, due to their different skill-sets.

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