Starling Marte and Yasiel Puig: Two players that didn’t get drafted in the MLB Amateur Draft, but two players that have reached MLB. While they aren’t the exact same player and their numbers don’t exactly mirror each other, they strike me as players with very similar styles of play with huge impacts.
For the Pittsburgh Pirates, their offense is at its best when Marte is getting on base at the top of the lineup and causing havoc on the bases. For the Los Angeles Dodgers, when did they begin to turn their season around and go on this ridiculous hot streak that now has them as favorites to win the World Series? When Puig was promoted from the minor leagues.
These two players are both mega-talented and are both legitimate five-tool players. Each player has a rocket arm, great range and excellent speed combined with the ability to hit for high averages and power. Marte’s range is especially important because he is given the task of playing left field at PNC Park. Left fielders at PNC Park need to basically be a second center fielder because there is so much ground to cover.
While these players both have all the talent necessary to succeed in the big leagues, they also can get caught being a bit too aggressive and basically making dumb plays at times. On several occasions, Marte will get caught stealing third with two outs, something that is completely unacceptable in baseball. Puig will overthrow cut-off men and crash into walls, risking injury to himself.
Even though Marte and Puig make dumb decisions at times, the value they bring to their respective teams greatly outweighs the negatives. Puig is the better hitter right now, but Marte definitely has him beat on defense and in base running. To predict who will be better in the long-run is impossible, but it will sure be fun to watch these two athletic outfielders play for the next ten years or so.