Our “Under the Radar” series tries to find players who aren’t on our Top 15 prospect lists that may be able to contribute to their major league team in 2014. For this edition, I’d look to look at Alfredo Marte who’s still young enough to have upside and make an appearance in Arizona in 2014. It might appear that outfielder Alfredo Marte‘s window of opportunity has closed but he’s definitely looking to return to the Arizona Diamondbacks after a taste of the big leagues in 2013. Marte, a Dominican outfielder, appears to have a lot of competition to do what he did last season: make the club out of spring training.
Marte struggled with the big club, hitting just .186/.271/.256 in a small sample size of 48 plate appearances before getting optioned back to Triple-A Reno. Marte had made the Diamondbacks in 2013 after a very strong season in Double-A Mobile in 2012, hitting for an .886 OPS and blasting 20 home runs, which was a huge jump from his previous season high of nine in 2010 in High-A Visalia. Despite his poor numbers in the majors, Marte had a good season in Triple-A Reno showing very solid gap power despite a significant drop in his home runs (to just seven in 343 plate appearances).
At this point, Marte profiles mostly as a fourth outfielder with very solid contact ability (his .186 batting average in the majors in 2013 is likely due to a very low .258 BABIP), good gap power and decent defense with a solid arm that will translate to either right or left field. The issue is that with the acquisition of Mark Trumbo to play left field (since he can’t DH in the National League), the potential for Marte to get playing time in the big league outfield will be limited. In center, the club has A.J. Pollock ready to start the season with Adam Eaton having been traded and Gerardo Parra set to man right field.
In fact, Marte, who will be 25 just before Opening Day, compares offensively rather well to Parra who has put up league-average offensive numbers throughout his major league career. Neither strikes a lot but neither walks at above-average rates and both have very good gap power but won’t light up the desert with home runs very often (although Marte has shown more power potential in the minors).
The person that Marte probably has to worry about the most is Tony Campana who will likely be the fourth outfielder until Cody Ross returns from a severe hip injury. Beating Campana for the fourth outfielder job out of camp is likely Marte’s best opening, mainly because Marte offers more power potential than Campana who can play center field and offers more speed.
Will Alfredo Marte be able to capitalize on an opportunity to get back to Arizona and improve what he did in a month of service in 2013? The remainder of February and March will likely go along way to answer that question.