One of the great things about baseball is the fact that the players are able to compete year-round if they choose to do so. You won’t see it with established players very often, as a full major league season can be quite draining. For youngsters, minor leaguers, and college kids, you can catch them playing in different summer, fall, and winter leagues depending on what level they are at in a system. Noelvi Marte is one of those guys.
It’s definitely worth keeping tabs on him over the winter, especially when you think about his potential ceiling. There is a realistic percentage associated with Noelvi Marte that he could put up major league numbers similar to what Hanley Ramirez was doing during his time with the Marlins.
That’s a story for another day though. I just wanted to check in a bit on Noelvi Marte this winter.
He is playing down in the Dominican Winter League for the Gigantes del Cibao team and is off to quite the hot start. He’s only just started, but he is off to an incredible start. 5/11, 1 2B, 3 SB, 1 BB. Yeah, small sample size and whatnot. He’s definitely showing off the speed though, going 3-3 on steals with very few opportunities to do so.
If you’re curious about the level of play there, Baseball-Reference provides a sneaky little stat that can give you some insight into the type of players that are playing in a league in any season you are interested in. Go take a look at a player’s stats over there, and you can see an “AgeDif” column, which shows you +/- on the player’s age as compared to the age of the league. Noelvi has a -9.1 in his column. That mean’s the average player’s age is just over 29-years-old.
He’s playing with full-grown men, adults, and guys who have been doing this for a long time. This isn’t Marte taking advantage of teenagers who don’t know what they’re doing. Sure, the level of talent could be argued here, but experience does play a massive part.
There are a handful of players who have contracts, some of which even have major league experience or who are currently major leaguers. Jose Siri is on the same team as Marte, with Yohan Ramirez, Carlos Peguero, Eric Filia, Francisco Mejia, Albert Pujols, Aaron Hicks, Miguel Andujar, Hanley Ramriez, and Yasiel Puig being other names in the league you may be familiar with. There’s also a good amount of former major leaguers who are no longer on MLB teams that are playing in the league.
To me, this means that Noelvi Marte is going to be seeing plenty of pitching from players that are either pretty talented or have a fair amount of major league experience. There are also hitters around the league with experience, so if Marte is able to spend some time talking with them, he should be able to learn a lot.
Check back later next week for another article on Noelvi Marte, and a look into what his ceiling could be once he gets to the majors.