The New York Mets have signed 33-year-old Starling Marte to a $78 million four-year contract.
Marte is slashing .289/.346/.451 in his career with 126 home runs and 296 stolen bases. In 2021 he led Major League Baseball with 47 stolen bases, but finished with a slim 12 homers.
The outfielder has been a star in this league since his rookie season in 2012 and looks to continue his success in 2022. His pillars of success are skills on the basepaths, excellent on-base percentage, and a quality strikeout rate. These led to him finishing with the ninth-best WAR for batters in 2021.
New York Mets Sign Starling Marte
In addition to the Mets signing Marte and Canha they also signed Eduardo Escobar. These signings seem to mean the end of the road in New York for a few former Mets players. Michael Conforto, J.D. Davis, and Dominic Smith are all key members of this team from a year ago that have just been replaced.
Nimmo was the main leadoff batter in 2021 and looks to retain that role moving forward. Marte could bat second in the lineup, a spot he excelled in last season for the Miami Marlins and Oakland Athletics. Alonso and Lindor should follow him up in the batting order to finish out the top of the lineup.
While these improvements to the Mets are nice it doesn't mean an easy trip to the playoffs. This team could improve on their 2021 record but still play in one of the tougher divisions. The Atlanta Braves won the 2021 World Series, Bryce Harper won MVP for the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Washington Nationals have one of the best players in the game with Juan Soto.
Dependable Skill Set
Marte has one of the most dependable skill sets of any position player. He is a safe bet to rarely strike out while getting on base plenty. The true threat comes when he is on the basepaths, however.
Since his debut in 2012 Marte is third in stolen bases behind only Dee Strange-Gordon and Billy Hamilton. This production has helped Fantasy Baseball managers win championships for nine seasons and Marte still hasn't slowed down.
Marte's next skill is getting on base. In 2021 he set a career-high in on-base percentage at .383, due mostly to his increased walk percentage which was also a career-high 8.2%. If Marte can carry this skill into 2022 it will help his stolen bases and runs improve as well.
Lastly, Marte has kept his strikeout rate below 20% every season since 2015. Most players limit themselves by striking out too often, Marte has proven to be able to keep his strikeouts low, however. This ability keeps his value in Fantasy Baseball high in points and category leagues.
2022 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
In 2021 Fantasy Baseball managers drafted Marte at an ADP of 52.2. This season I expect that to lower slightly and Marte to be drafted in the first 50 picks. Some players he might jump over are George Springer, J.T. Realmuto, and Adalberto Mondesi.
This is a possibility due to Marte starting the season on a better offense than last season. Batting in front of Alonso, Lindor, Escobar and Canha can help lead Marte to scoring more runs in 2021.
Overall fans and Fantasy Baseball managers should be excited over these moves for the Mets.
Be sure to check out all the 2022 Fantasy Baseball content as the season gets closer.