- Full name Andy Manuel Marte
- Born 10/21/1983 in Villa Tapia, Dominican Republic
- Died 01/22/2017 in Dominican Republic
- Profile Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 205 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Liceo Nueva Esperanza
- Debut 06/07/2005
Organization Prospect Rankings
After losing free agent Rafael Furcal to the Dodgers, the Braves wanted Edgar Renteria as a replacement, and the Red Sox were happy to oblige. The teams talked to the Devil Rays about a three-team deal that would have sent Marte (Atlanta's No. 1 prospect) to Tampa Bay and Julio Lugo to Boston. But when the Rays asked for an extra prospect, the Red Sox traded Renteria straight up for Marte. Signed for $600,000 out of the Dominican Republic, he has ranked among the game's top third-base prospects since his first full U.S. season in 2002. Once compared to Miguel Cabrera, he hasn't developed quite as fast but still is just 22. Marte's biggest problem in Atlanta was that Chipper Jones is entrenched at the hot corner and doesn't want to return to the outfield. He got his first big league opportunity in June after Jones strained a ligament in his left foot, but Marte hit just .200 with three RBIs in 12 games before returning to the minors. Marte has everything teams want in a third baseman, starting with tape-measure power. His stroke has a natural uppercut that generates plenty of loft, and the ball jumps off his bat to all fields. He's an aggressive hitter who punishes mistakes, and he has the bat speed and aptitude to hit for a solid average. His walk rate has increased in each of the last three seasons. Marte also provides quality glovework at the hot corner. Managers rated him the best defensive third baseman in the Triple-A International League--the fourth consecutive year he earned that honor in his league. He moves well to both sides and has a strong, accurate arm. His 15 errors and .950 fielding percentage in 2005 were career bests. The Braves gave him high marks for his maturity and approach. As with most power hitters, Marte will pile up some strikeouts to go with his homers. His swing can get long at times, and he occasionally gets overanxious and chases breaking balls out of the strike zone. His speed is slightly below average, and he'll get slower as he continues to fill out. However, he's a smart runner who's not a liability on the bases. Marte's elbow bothered him slightly during the season but it wasn't considered a serious problem. There were reports that the Devil Rays backed out of the three-way trade over concerns that Marte had a torn ligament. But the Red Sox found his medical records to be clean, and he played without problems in the Dominican League this offseason. While he has the tools to become a star, his immediate future remains uncertain. Marte's best chance of cracking Boston's lineup is to wrest the first-base job from Kevin Youkilis. But Marte never has played first base. He doesn't have anything left to prove in Triple-A, but may have to open the season in Pawtucket. It's also possible that the Red Sox will spin him in another trade to address needs at first base, shortstop or center field.
Marte turned in another solid season in 2004, appearing in the Futures Game and being rated as the top prospect in the Double-A Southern League. Despite missing a month with sprains in both ankles, he finished second in homers among Braves farmhands. Marte's ability to drive the ball to all fields is outstanding and getting better. He already shows patience at the plate. His glovework is also above-average, as managers named him the best defensive third baseman and top infield arm in the Southern League. He shows impressive maturity for his age. Marte's swing has a slight uppercut and can get a little long when he tires, but the Braves consider those minor problems. Still, his strikeout rate jumped in 2004. His body has gotten a little thick over the past two years and might need monitoring. Marte is the Braves' long-term answer at third base. He needs another half-season in the minors and will begin 2005 at Triple-A Richmond, but he could take over full-time as soon as Opening Day 2006. His potential as an all-around impact player is unquestioned.
After leading the low Class A South Atlantic League with 105 RBIs and finishing the season as the league's all-star third baseman in 2002, Marte jumped to high Class A and continued his emergence as one of the top infield prospects in the game. He overcame a rough start that included a .200 batting average during April to pace the Carolina League in doubles and extra-base hits, and again he finished the season as his league's postseason all-star third baseman. He produced solid power numbers in spite of playing in a difficult hitter's park in Myrtle Beach and seeing a steady diet of offspeed pitches in 2003. That type of turnaround was no surprise because Marte never has had difficulty staying focused. In his first pro season after signing with the Braves for $600,000, he struggled to make contact and batted just .200 at Rookie-level Danville. He learned from that experience and hasn't looked back since, batting better than .280 in both of his full professional seasons. Marte has a quick, line-drive stroke that continues to become more powerful as his body matures. His pitch recognition is as good as anyone's in the system, and he has the uncanny ability to make adjustments with his swing while the ball is on the way to the plate. For a young player, he already understands the importance of drawing walks and made significant strides in that skill in 2003. He used a new pre-at-bat ritual to help him stay on top of the ball and through it better. While defense was once a struggle for Marte, hard work and experience have paid off for him at third base. He has improved on charging slow rollers and on making accurate throws. He has average speed, and is a smart and effective baserunner. Marte's desire to succeed is strong, yet he never lets his emotions get the best of him. His ability to stay on an even keel and separate the different aspects of the game has put him on the fast track to the major leagues. His defensive footwork could stand some upgrading, especially when he's going back on balls and to his left. But the Braves are confident Marte will develop into no worse than an average defender at the hot corner. While spending full seasons at both Class A stops, Marte has made rapid progress and shows no sign of slowing down on his way to the big leagues. He's the best third-base prospect in the minors and unquestionably the Braves' long-term answer at the hot corner. The Braves want Marte to spend most of the 2004 season at Double-A Greenville, but his progress and the needs in Atlanta could accelerate his arrival. Regardless of the circumstances, he should make his big league debut no later than a September callup.
Marte hit just .200 in the Appalachian League in 2001 after signing for $600,000 the previous September. But he proved to be a bargain last year by pacing the South Atlantic League in RBIs and ranking second in home runs and extra-base hits. Managers also rated him the SAL's best defensive third baseman. Marte has quick wrists that allow him to turn on most fastballs. He has power to all fields, makes impressive adjustments to all types of pitches and refuses to concede any at-bat. Marte possesses quick reflexes, soft hands and a strong arm. He also has impressive maturity for a teenager. His speed is average. Despite being a plus defender, Marte can become careless in the field. He also tends to give up on pitches on the outer half of the plate, limiting his overall coverage of the dish. He could stand to draw a few more walks. Because the Braves lack depth at the hot corner, Marte is in position to move rapidly through the system. He should start the 2003 season in high Class A and could move up to Double-A at midseason.
A potential five-tool talent, Marte signed out of the Dominican Republic for $600,000 in September 2000, shortly after the end of the Braves' six-month ban on signing Dominicans, the result of grabbing Wilson Betemit before his 16th birthday. Scouts talk about the special sound a ball makes off the bat of premier players, and Marte's hits fall into that category. Marte has a smooth and easy swing, and balls jump off his bat. Atlanta officials believe he'll have plus power and will hit for average. He also possesses outstanding instincts in the infield with soft hands, excellent reflexes at the hot corner and a strong arm. Marte had a lackluster season at Rookie-level Danville and has considerable work to do with his plate coverage and strike-zone judgment. At the same time, he was 17. The Braves hope Marte will make the climb to Macon and be one of the youngest players in the South Atlantic League in 2001, but won't be disappointed if he plays at a lower level.
Minor League Top Prospects
After a whirlwind winter in which Marte was traded from the Braves to the Red Sox to the Indians, he homered just twice and drove in only 13 runs over the season's first two months. He got hot in June, hitting .304 with 10 home runs, but he appeared bored at times in his return to the IL after ranking fifth on this list a year ago. He cooled back off after a late July promotion to Cleveland. Marte has good balance and power to all fields, and prior to 2006 he had specialized in driving the outside pitch the other way, then crushing pitchers when they came in on him. He now looks to pull almost exclusively, and still has issues with his swing path, showing an uppercut at times. He sometimes cheats on inside fastballs, giving him trouble with breaking balls away. But Marte can absolutely crush mistakes and some managers thought he had the most power in the league. He never has hit for a high average in the minors and his long swing might make it difficult in the majors, too. He has average speed, range and hands to go with a plus arm at third base.
Marte seemed on the verge of making a Miguel Cabrera-like jump from Double-A to the majors in 2004, but his timetable has slowed as the Braves try to figure out how to get him into the lineup with Chipper Jones wanting to remain at third base. While Marte has only received a cup of coffee in Atlanta, his potential is still considerable and he's just 21. Marte has outstanding power to all fields and is one of the best defensive third basemen in the minors. A slight uppercut creeps into his swing at times, but he has improved his body control in the box as well as his strike-zone discipline. There had been concerns about his lower half getting thicker, but he worked hard to strengthen his legs and back throughout the season. He's mature for his age, but some managers thought Marte lacked focus at times.
Marte came into the season as the Braves' top prospect and is regarded as the minors' best third-base prospect as well, so he was expected him to torch the Southern League before moving on to Atlanta. An ankle injury kept him from having a huge year and limited him to 107 games, but his tools and aptitude were unmistakable. "There's nothing not to like about Andy Marte," Birmingham manager Razor Shines said. "He's an outstanding defender with the chance to be an impact player offensively on the major league level." Marte will be an above-average hitter with power that could be well above average, and he already can drive the ball to the opposite field. He has a bit of an uppercut in his swing and will have to level it out. He shows good pitch recognition, though he still strikes out too much. Though Marte's body has gotten a little thicker in the last year, he should be at least adequate defensively and has an above-average arm. "I'll be shocked if he can't stay at third," an American League scout said. "He moves well enough and his hands are good enough. He'll have to watch his body, but he just needs to maintain it. His body won't move him off third."
Rafael Furcal went from the CL in 1999 to Atlanta in 2000. Marte won't reach the majors that quickly, but he's not too far away from playing every day for the Braves. He continued to exhibit a quick bat, power to all fields and solid defense. Marte more than held his own as a teenager in high Class A. His shortcomings are the same as most young players: strike-zone recognition and the ability to maintain focus in the field and on the basepaths. "He's athletic, got great hands and exceptional range," Massarelli said. "If he wasn't so thick through the middle of his body, he'd easily be a shortstop with enormous power. He's that good. He needs to be a little more patient at the plate, but that will come with age and experience." "His style is very relaxed and at times aloof," Lovullo said. "But that isn't any indication of his wanting to be out there, not at all. He's in the same category as Greinke as far as I'm concerned. It's easy to project him. He has the intangible of loving the game. That's something that isn't measured as a tool, but you can see how much he loves playing everyday."
After a six-month ban on signing Dominican players for inking Wilson Betemit when he was too young, the Braves returned to the fray by acquiring Marte for $600,000 in September 2000. He struggled in Rookie ball last year before blossoming in Macon. He led the league in RBIs and ranked second in homers. Marte impressed observers with his cool demeanor, patient approach at the plate and determination to battle pitchers in every at-bat. He showed power to all fields, using his quick wrists to turn on most fastballs. Several managers mentioned how he learned to wait on breaking balls as the season progressed. Marte also has soft hands and a good arm, which should allow him to remain at third base. "I love his attitude at the plate," Manto said. "You never know if he's made an out or gone deep. He never took his at-bats to the field. He's an impressive hitter with an incredible ceiling."
Top 100 Rankings
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Defensive 3B in the International League in 2006
- Rated Best Power Hitter in the Atlanta Braves in 2006
- Rated Best Power Hitter in the Boston Red Sox in 2006
- Rated Best Defensive 3B in the International League in 2005
- Rated Best Power Hitter in the Atlanta Braves in 2005
- Rated Best Infield Arm in the Southern League in 2004
- Rated Best Defensive 3B in the Southern League in 2004
- Rated Best Power Hitter in the Atlanta Braves in 2004
- Rated Best Defensive 3B in the Carolina League in 2003
- Rated Most Exciting Player in the Carolina League in 2003
- Rated Best Defensive 3B in the South Atlantic League in 2002