Saturday, February 22, 2014

Fantasy Focus: Starling Marte vs Leonys Martin Smackdown

Starling Marte and Leonys Martin are similar players who from the Pittsburgh Pirates and Texas Rangers respectively.  They are both international players with Marte coming up from the DR and Martin coming out of Cuba.  They are within 1 year in age and both made their MLB debut in 2012 and played their first full seasons in 2013 while putting up similar numbers.  There is a large difference in where they are being drafted in early 2014 fantasy drafts.  Here is a a statistical capsule for both players using the common fantasy stats:

Starling Marte, OF.  B-R, T-R.  6'1", 185 lbs.  DOB:  10/9/1988.

2013:  83 R, 12 HR, 35 RBI, 41 SB, .280 BA, 566 PA.  Those numbers came with a .363 BABIP, a 4.4 BB% and a 24.4 K%.  He hit .291 in the first half and .254 in the second half.  He missed some games midseason with an injury.

Leonys Martin, OF.  B-L, T-R.  6'2", 190 lbs.  DOB:  3/6/1988.

2013:  66 R, 8 HR, 49 RBI, 36 SB, .260 BA, 508 PA.  Those numbers came with a .319 BAPIP, a 5.5 BB% and a 20.5 K%.  He also had a regression in the second half going from a .283 BA to .238.

2014 Projections(ZIPS):

Marte:  82 R, 13 HR, 54 RBI, 29 SB, .265 BA, 583 PA, .335 BABIP.

Martin:  55 R, 9 HR, 48 RBI, 25 SB, .264 BA, 451 PA, .312 BABIP.

Notice the differences in PA's and BABIP.  Martin played most of last season in a platoon with Craig Gentry, but the Rangers traded Gentry to the A's clearing the way for Martin to play everyday.  If you normalize Martin's numbers to a PA of 583, you get 70 R, 12 HR, 62 RBI, 32 SB.  You also have to ask yourself if Marte's BABIP might not regress more than to .335.  On the other hand, Ron Washington has penciled Martin in as the 9'th batter in the Rangers lineup while Marte will likely bat leadoff for Pittsburgh.  That will suppress Martin's PA's but about 100 compared to Marte although that will likely be mitigated somewhat by a higher rate of lineup turnover for the Rangers.  Martin should get more RBI opportunities batting 9'th in a DH lineup than Marte will leading off in an NL lineup.

Starling Marte's current ADP is 55.7 overall in early Yahoo drafts.  That would be 6'th round in 10 team leagues and 5'th round in 12 team leagues.  His average auction price is $21.7.

Leonys Martin's current Yahoo ADP is 160, at the end of round 16 in 10 team leagues and in the 14'th round in 12 team leagues. His average auction price is $3.9.

Conclusion:  Starling Marte and Leonys Martin are similar players who's main value is their SB's, but give you a little more power than some other SB specialists will give you.  Their 2014 numbers are likely to be insignificantly different across the board.  Martin is the far better value at his current ADP's and auction prices.

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