5 Reasons this free agent is the Philadelphia Phillies’ only answer

Sep 10, 2021; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics center fielder Starling Marte (2) during the eighth inning against the Texas Rangers at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 10, 2021; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics center fielder Starling Marte (2) during the eighth inning against the Texas Rangers at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Philadelphia Phillies need to sign Starling Marte this offseason

Starling Marte needs to be on the Philadelphia Phillies next year. I’m manifesting this right here, right now. On Opening Day 2022, Marte will be in red pinstripes, calling Citizens Bank Park home. He’s the perfect fit for the Phillies’ needs in so many ways, and really the only option for them this offseason.

Here are five reasons why Dave Dombrowski must make this happen:

1. Starling Marte is a base-stealing machine

Marte led MLB with 47 stolen bases this season, tying his own personal single-season record. Do you know who led the Phillies in stolen bases this season? Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto, and they each stole 13.

Marte was one of just two players with 40+ bag swipes this year, and no other player stole more than 32. In fact, Marte was one of just six players with 30+ stolen bases; it’s a lost art.

2. Starling Marte is a Gold Glove outfielder

The Phillies have made their offseason priorities clear, and upgrading the bullpen and outfield are at the top of their list. Marte won back-to-back Gold Gloves in 2015 and 2016, and was also an All-Star in the latter.

This season, he ranked 11th among qualified CF in Outs Above Average, posting a 3 OAA, and since 2016, his 18 OAA is tied for 17th.

3. Starling Marte’s plate discipline is improved dramatically

Marte struck out a lot in the first few years of his career, 120+ times in each season between 2013-2015, to be specific. However, those numbers have dipped significantly over the last few years, and his last 100+ strikeout season was 2018. He also walked a career-high 43 times in 2021, despite his lowest number of games played in a full season since 2017.

4. Starling Marte gets on base

He’s never homered more than 23 times in a single season, but Marte hits for average and gets on base. He has 143+ hits in every season of his career in which he’s appeared in more than 100 games and had 64 hits in 61 games in the shortened 2020 season. In fact, the only season of his career in which Marte didn’t average at least one hit per game was his debut season in 2012.

Marte has also proven himself to be a doubles machine, with four 30+ two-bagger seasons in his decade-long career

5. Starling Marte is the only true free-agent centerfielder

It’s a big year for free-agent shortstops, but centerfielders? Not so much. The Phillies bid adieu to Odúbel Herrera, and the other “top” free-agent CFs are actually players who move around a lot, like Chris Taylor and Kevin Pillar.

Trending. 5 Slugging outfielders the Phillies should sign immediately. light

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