Opened things up to Twitter today and received a sound question:
@Tim_Heaney Is Starling Marte legit?
When it comes to speed, absolutely: He has one of the highest such scores in Fangraphs' rankings among all qualifiers. He'll run as often as possible hitting atop this sneaky lineup. Count on 30 steals if he stays healthy.
Hopefully, you don't expect the 24-year-old to reach his power ceiling (15-20 homers) this year, as well. Even though he's on pace for that, he hits too many grounders to materialize it without fly-ball fortune. He's hit four of his five since April 29, so I might have to eat my words eventually, but I see him playing more toward his leadoff attributes.
On that note, his hit rate is a smidge too high for me; his wheels say he'll post high in-play success rates (like the Mike Trouts and Austin Jacksons), but this year, I'd be more confident in that if he hit more liners. He must keep mashing on the road to keep his clip anywhere near its current rate, and he still strikes out too much for not taking many walks.
Don't forget that a below-average rate of free passes caps SB potential -- not to say he won't remain aggressive, but removing chances, at any level, doesn't help.
Getting 75 or 80 percent of the pace he's doing now will still make him a borderline top-100 fantasy player, so selling high is not necessary unless you're not comfortable weathering the path to his likely regression. If someone overpays, have at it, but standing pat will still leave you with a fine player if you can properly account for his return to the mean.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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