Starling Marte, the Pirates’ top position player prospect, is enjoying a great month of June. After a slow May in which he hit just .236, Marte is showing signs of encouragement with his play this month. With Jose Tabata struggling and a trip to Indy not out of the question, some fans want Marte called up to the big leagues. After sending some tweets about Starling’s recent production, we received an overwhelming response. Here’s a sample of the tweets that were sent our way:
And here’s why: as Tabata continues to slump (just four hits in his last 25 at-bats), Marte is heating up. Here’s Marte’s month-by-month breakdown this season at Indy:
June has been Marte’s best month by far, as he’s hit a solid .304/.356/.554. He’s doubled his home run total, and has driven in more runs than the first two months combined. He’s been particularly hot as of late:
Marte's last six games: .393 avg (11 for 28), 6 runs scored, 2 doubles, 3 HR, 12 RBI.—
Section 134 (@section134blog) June 29, 2012
The only problem is that the Pirates might not be ready to pull the trigger with Marte. They took their time with Andrew McCutchen, allowing him to play 201 games at the Triple-A level before recalling him after the Nate McLouth deal in June of ’09. They rushed Pedro Alvarez in June of 2010 when they were desperate for offense, and kept him in Indy for just 66 games before his MLB debut. As of late, the organization has been careful before promoting their prospects from level to level (especially with pitchers, although that doesn’t affect Marte). Starling has played 73 games for Indianapolis this season, so they probably aren’t interested in rushing him and hurting his development.
Still, if he continues to play well, we could see him sooner rather than later. The promotion of Marte should have more to do with his production than the failures of Jose Tabata. The struggles of Tabata shouldn’t dictate a call-up; the steady, strong play of Marte should. However, anything can happen, and the Bucs need to keep their options open. The trade deadline is looming, and everything will unfold in the coming days/weeks. The Indians close out the month of June with Toledo on Friday at 7:15 and Louisville on Saturday at 6:05. Hopefully Starling Marte will end June as he started it and begins July with a bang.