23. RHP Jose Marte
Acquired: IFA (2016)
Future Value: 35+ (grade down)
Stock: -5 spots
Jose Marte is on a path similar to the one Melvin Adon was on a couple of seasons ago. An older for his level pitcher who has great stuff, but didn’t dominate the lower levels in the way one would expect.
His fastball has touched 98 mph and often sits from 94-96 mph range. That velocity has been inconsistent, though, and he’s sat in the 88-94 mph range in other starts.
When his velocity is at its peak, the exceptional extension in his delivery and natural sink make it a potential 70-grade pitch. At times, he shows a feel for a changeup and slider, but both come and go as well.
Best-case scenario, Marte has a potential three-pitch mix worthy of working at the front of a rotation. However, he has a long way to go before reaching that ceiling and he’s already 23.
Marte missed time with an injury in 2019 and struggled to build momentum. Early on, he seemed to suffer from a lot of bad batted-ball luck and a low strand rate. Then, his walks began to spike, perhaps as a consequence of trying to avoid balls in play.
In the end, Marte threw only 74 innings on the season and wasn’t particularly effective. While he struck out over a batter an inning, one would expert more given his stuff. In his final ten appearances, he walked 6.4 batters per nine innings and he was never able to limit scoring, finishing with a 5.59 ERA.
It was a lost season in more ways than one for Marte. Like Adon, a shift to the bullpen is always in play and perhaps the San Francisco Giants will have him work on that transition this offseason. If not, the 2020 season may be his last shot to show he has the stuff to stick in a starting rotation.