Marte with the Pittsburgh Pirates
|Pittsburgh Pirates - No. 6|
|Born: October 9, 1988|
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
|July 26, 2012, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|MLB statistics |
(through 2019 season)
|Runs batted in||420|
|Career highlights and awards|
Starling Javier Marte (born October 9, 1988) is a Dominican professional baseball outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut in 2012. Marte is an MLB All-Star, and a two-time Gold Glove Award winner.
He signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2007, and was primarily a center fielder during his time in the minors. In 2010, Marte played 60 games for the Pirates' Class A affiliate, the Bradenton Marauders, ending with a batting average of .315. He hit 16 doubles and five triples that season while also stealing 22 bases. Marte represented the Pittsburgh Pirates at the 2011 All-Star Futures Game. In 2011, while playing for the Altoona Curve, Marte was an Eastern League Mid-Season All-Star and Post-Season All-Star, a Baseball America Double-A All-Star, a Topps Double-A All-Star, and a Milb.com organization All-Star. On August 15, 2011, Marte was named the EL's player of the week. Marte also won the Eastern League Batting Title with a .332 batting average and was named the Eastern League Rookie of the Year. Marte was added to the Pirates 40-man roster on November 18, 2011.
Marte was ranked number 73 on Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects list in February 2012 and number 56 on Baseball Prospectus's Top 101 Prospect list in February 2012. In 2012, while playing for the Indianapolis Indians, Marte was named an International League Mid-Season All-Star. On July 2, 2012, Marte was named the International League player of the week.
On July 26, 2012, Marte was promoted from the Triple A Indianapolis Indians to the Pittsburgh Pirates, becoming the first graduate of the Pirates' Latin American complex, located in the Dominican Republic, to reach the major leagues. He hit a home run on the first pitch he faced in his major league career, off Houston Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel. The hit made Marte the third player in Pirates' franchise history to homer in his first at-bat and the first to do it since Don Leppert in 1961. He also became the first Pirate to homer on the first pitch of his major league career since Walter Mueller did so in 1922.
Marte and the Pirates finalized a 6-year, $31 million deal on March 28, 2014. On August 18, 2014, Marte had his second career multi-homer game in a 7-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves. He won his first career Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 2015.
On April 18, 2017, Marte was suspended 80 games without pay due to use of Nandrolone, a type of performance-enhancing drug that violates the MLB's drug agreement. He was also deemed ineligible to play in post-season competition, though the Pirates failed to qualify. Marte issued a statement afterwards, reading:
I have been informed that I have tested positive in one of the tests that are regularly done in my job. In this very difficult moment I apologize to my family, my fans and baseball in general. Neglect and lack of knowledge have led me to this mistake with the high price to pay of being away from the field that I enjoy and love so much. With much embarrassment and helplessness, I ask for forgiveness for unintentionally disrespecting so many people who have trusted in my work and have supported me so much. I promise to learn the lesson that this ordeal has left me. God bless you.
In November 2011, Larry Broadway, the Pirates' director of Minor League operations, said of Marte, "An exciting player to watch, Starling has very good athleticism and speed to go along with the ability to hit. The scary thing is that he is starting to mature physically and is starting to develop power as well. His speed-power-hit combo is going to make him a very fun player to see mature."