It was a tale of two years really for outfielder Starling Marte . He spent about the same amount of time in Arizona and Miami, but his first 33 games were better from a fantasy standpoint compared to the final 28. Sure, an inflated BABIP kept that average sky high in Arizona, but other peripherals took a hit when Marte started playing in the southeast. While it's another year in the majors, it’s a similar storyline for Marte, being that he has a little pop, but hitting for a solid average and his production in the stolen base department keeps his fantasy value rather high.

Let’s start at the plate for Marte, where it was really a Jekyll and Hyde type situation. In 138 plate appearances with the Diamondbacks, he posted a respectable 7.2-percent walk rate, and a strikeout rate of 13.8 percent. However, when he went to Miami, his walk rate plummeted to 1.8 percent, and his strikeout rate skyrocketed to 19.6-percent. That walk rate would be the lowest of his career by nearly three percentage points, and that strikeout rate would be his highest mark since 2016. How did this happen? Well, he went out of the zone a bit more than usual, but at least hisSwStr% remained on par with previous marks.

Now, Marte isn’t going to set the Statcast truthers into a flurry of happiness, as 2020 was down across the board. His average exit velocity, launch angle, barrel rate, hard hit rate, sweet spot, and numerous expected statistics all decreased from 2019. That’s certainly not ideal, and when you consider his new home park, regression in any of those batted ball metrics shouldn’t inspire long-term confidence. Marte has proven that he can do enough to get by with his batted ball profile, but understand that he will lose some home runs due to his behemoth of a home park.

His sprint speed remains solid, and his mark from last year came in at the 89th percentile. It’s the sixth straight year he’s been in the top 13-percent of the league, and Miami should let him run at will in 2021. Of course, they’ll need to manufacture some runs, and Marte will be integral in getting on base, bringing runners home, and moving around on his own accord. Also, for what it’s worth, Marte is one just four players projected by THE BAT to steal at least 30 bases in 2021. The other three are all going within the first two rounds of a 15-team format, whereas Marte can be at least one full round later, if not more.

Since the start of the second half of the 2019 season, Marte has 17 home runs, 22 stolen bases and an even .300 batting average. Not many others can say that, and he speaks to just how reliable he’s been over the years. Outside of 2020’s anomaly of a season, Marte had back-to-back 20/25 seasons, and he’s registered at least 20 stolen bases in every season but one.

Let’s take a look at where popular projection systems have Marte coming in for the 2021 season:





















Marte is currently the 13th outfielder off the board and he remains one of the more affordable stars in fantasy baseball’s most fickle category. It feels more often than not that setting your team up for success in the speed department sets you two, or three, steps back in other offensive categories, notably home runs, RBI and batting average. However, Marte is far from a non-zero in those other categories, and one could argue that he’s a net positive in batting average, assuming he hits .275 or higher for the ninth straight season.

A lackluster Miami lineup could hurt some of his counting stats, notably RBI and runs scored, but he should be a quality contributor in batting average and stolen bases. Pairing Marte with a big time power bat makes for one hell of a fantasy asset, and his rare blend of upside and consistency in the stolen base department makes him an excellent selection in the late-third or early-fourth round of 15-team formats.


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