Jefry Marte hopes to get a chance at the hot corner
By David Rice
The Los Angeles Angels made a move last week that went under pretty much everyone’s radar last week as they traded away prospect Kody Eaves and got third baseman Jefry Marte in return from the Detroit Tigers. So the question is why would the Angels trade for another third baseman with Yuniel Escobar, Kyle Kubitza, and Kaleb Cowart already on the 40-man roster and all with major league experience.
So let’s dig deeper and see if we are missing something with this trade. Maybe Jefry Marte is the second-coming of Troy Glaus, or Doug DeCinces. Nope, his numbers don’t suggest that at all. Marte has only hit more than 10 home runs once in his eight seasons in the minors.
Well then he must be good at getting on base and hitting for a high average. Again the numbers don’t suggest this at all. Marte has a respectable .259 career batting average in 2,932 at-bats in the minors and he has .325 on base percentage. Again not too shabby but also nothing to write home about.
So then it must be his that Marte is known for. Again stats don’t lie and it would be a lie to say that Jefry Marte was even a decent fielder at third base sporting a .900 fielding percentage with 183 errors in 1822 chances, hardly a gold glover in the making. In looking at his stats it does say Marte played 50 games at first base in the minors with a .980 fielding percentage so he is a little versatile, but with C.J. Cron and Albert Pujols as well as Rule 5 pick Ji-Man Choi (team must keep him on the big league roster all season or risk losing him back to Baltimore) all guaranteed to make the roster, there is not many at-bats for Marte coming from the first base position for the Angels.
Oh I get it now, maybe LA Angels owner Arte Moreno and general manager Billy Eppler like the number three so they have tried to get as many third basemen as possible for the LA Angels 40-man roster. Seriously though, with no disrespect for Jefry Marte, I for the life of me cannot figure out this move based on what I see.
Sure Kubitza and Cowart were nothing to write home about last season when they were called up as they hit a paltry .183 combined in 82 at-bats. In about the same amount of at-bats last season for Detroit, Marte batted .213 with 17 hits in 80 at bats. He also hit four home runs and drove in 11 runs. So in that case maybe we could use his bat as it was slightly more effective than Cowart and Kubitza.
In an interview with the LA Times’ Mike DiGiovanna, Eppler said Marte is “A player who has value to us. He has youth, upside, and gives us roster flexibility.” Hopefully the first-time GM knows what he is doing, as this move looks like a “why bother” trade.
Everyone deserves a chance to prove themselves and I’m sure Marte will get that opportunity here in Anaheim, or in Salt Lake City (Triple-A). With young prospects you never know when things might click and a star is born. Good luck Jefry and welcome to the LA Angels third base party, if the last 11 years since the departure of Troy Glaus is any indication, you will get a shot to prove yourself sometime during the 2016 season.