Marte is hot, but plate discipline an issue
Starling Marte has been a superstar in April, providing sizzle atop a Pirates lineup that has mostly fizzled in 2013 while ranking 12th in the National League in runs scored. The 24-year-old left fielder is batting .333 through Friday's games, pacing the Pirates and placing in the top 10 among qualified NL hitters.
Marte is producing despite drawing few walks (two) and racking up plenty of strikeouts (19). In fact, he has one of the 10 lowest walk-to-strikeout ratios among NL batters this season.
Getting your hacks
Lowest BB/K ratio among NL hitters:
Player Team BB/K
Wellington Castillo Cubs 0.00
Carlos Gomez Brewers 0.00
A.J. Pollock D'backs 0.00
Mark Ellis Dodgers 0.10
Starling Marte Pirates 0.11
Pete Kozma Cardinals 0.11
Chris Heisey Reds 0.12
John Buck Mets 0.13
Wilin Rosario Rockies 0.13
Marlon Byrd Mets 0.13
Marte will have to improve his strike zone discipline to keep hitting for a high average. While he is stinging the ball, he also has benefited from a .465 batting average on balls in play — that's 170 points above the major league average. Once those seeing-eye singles stop falling, Marte will need to put the ball in play more often and do a better job of recognizing balls from strikes to bat .300-plus.
History suggests it's nearly impossible to hit for a high average while posting a Marte-like strikeout-to-walk ratio. Just a handful of players qualifying for the batting title have ever hit .300 or better in a season with a BB/K ratio below 0.2.
See ball, swing bat
Lowest BB/K in a season while hitting .300:
Player Year BB/K BAVG
Shawon Dunston 1997 0.11 .300
Benito Santiago 1987 0.14 .300
Alfonso Soriano 2002 0.15 .300
Jacque Jones 2003 0.2 .304
Garry Templeton 1979 0.2 .314
David Golebiewski is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates’ Melancon has been consistent since moving into closer’s role
- Friday’s scouting report: Pirates at Rockies
- Statistically speaking: Rockies’ bullpen suffering meltdowns
- Pirates notebook: Recovering Cole exceeds expectations in simulated game
- Pirates notebook: Phillies’ Burnett not demanding trade
- Selig: Pirates’ rebirth a positive step for baseball
- Rossi: Liriano no ace, but he’s Bucs’ key
- Liriano, Snider lift Pirates to a victory over Dodgers at PNC Park