We’re starting to see the first fruits of Rene Gayo’s work in Latin America. In December of 2008, Marte was just a smiling picture in a Post-Gazette story about the Pirates’ top international prospects. He had put up some big numbers in the Dominican Summer League, but was pretty old for the league at the age of 20. Instead of slowly being worked into American baseball in the Gulf Coast League this year, which was thought to be the initial plan, he joined West Virginia around midseason and hit .309/.371/.430 in 54 games, adding 24 stolen bases in 31 attemtps. He’s billed as an exceptional athlete and while he’s a long way from the Majors, he’s made sure that everyone’s paying attention to him with the way he burst on to the scene in 2009.
July 2010 Update: Marte started 2010, racing to a .945 OPS in April. That was pretty heavily influenced by a .475 BABIP, though, and he cooled off in May before a hamate injury set him back. He’s rehabbing with GCL Bradenton now, so hopefully he can get back on track soon because all of the things that I wrote about him last year still apply; he’s a great athlete but he’s still very raw and needs to play to start developing.