The Seattle Mariners have been on a hot streak as of late, and with hot streaks come players starting to click. That label sums up Ketel Marte perfectly.
The Mariners’ shortstop is currently riding a six-game hitting streak which includes three hits in each of the last two games. To add to that, Marte has seen his batting average rise 100 points up to .288 in just a matter of a week. He now leads the Mariners in that department.
With the Mariners currently fifth in all of baseball in home runs and first in the American League with 28, Marte doesn’t need to be a power bat or a hitter that will have a high slugging percentage (currently slugging only .329). He is getting on base at a solid tick of .321 and has been a nice spark for Seattle as of late.
Marte is tied for second on the team with 21 hits, and just one behind Robinson Cano who has 22. Marte however, isn’t collecting a whole lot of extra-base hits as he just has three doubles.
The place where he is finding his niche on this team is with singles. He has 18 singles on the season, and when he gets on base, his speed can be dangerous.
The way he gets his singles is quite fascinating. Marte is spraying the ball all over the field and they aren’t necessarily the deepest hits of all time. As a switch hitter, he is using the middle of the field and only on the rarest occasion is hitting it deep into the alley.
Marte is using his strengths to his advantage by either beating out an infield single, to stretching a single into a double, or even just knocking one up the middle for a solid base hit.
When you look at his swing however, you can see that his hands start high. In this picture above, he is loading and has raises his hands when he does so. He knows that he isn’t a big power hitter, and instead is willing to drive the ball and has done so with ground balls, line drives, or even just blooping a pitch in for a base hit.
Under new manager Scott Servais, the Mariners have been more aggressive on the base paths and Marte could be a key weapon for this ball club. It isn’t necessarily with stolen bases, as he just has two, but with taking extra bases.
On this play right here, Marte is being a pest and that’s the best way you can put it. Cano gets caught up in between first and second, but Marte completes this by making a smart baseball play and taking that extra base and ultimately scoring a run.
Marte is becoming a fun player to watch and his defense has followed suit forming a nice middle infield with Cano in Seattle. The chemistry is there between the two, and when you watch them play, you can see that come to life.
Servais rewarded Marte for his play in Wednesday night’s loss to the Astros by hitting him in the leadoff spot, and it probably won’t be the last time you see him there.
Marte has created a niche on this Mariners team and they have sure reaped the benefits thus far on their current hot streak and will continue to if he keeps this up.
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