After the jump, we finish this series by taking a look at the second of two players who tied for #25 in the LSB Community Prospect Rankings, shortstop Luis Marte...
Luis Marte is a 6'1", 170 lb. righthanded hitting shortstop whom the Rangers signed out of the Dominican Republic in in November of 2010 for a reported $250,000 bonus. Marte, who just turned 18 in December, 2011, spent most of the 2011 season playing in the Dominican Summer League, where he put up a .290/.309/.394 line. The Rangers brought him to the Arizona Rookie League at the tail end of the season, and Marte posted a .240/.240/.360 line in 25 plate appearances there.
Marte's ranking here is based on his potential projection. He gets good reviews with his glovework, profiling as a potential above-average defender at shortstop, and he has good speed as well. Marte's hit tool is viewed as having some promise, and scouts seem to think he has some power potential -- not as a 25 homer a year guy, but as someone with doubles power who could hit 8-10 homers per season. Like a lot of young players out of Latin America, one of the biggest concerns about Marte's offensive game has to do with his control of the strike zone and tendency to be overly aggressive.
If Marte's hit tool continues to develop and his plate discipline improves, he is a player who could start garnering a lot of attention in prospect circles, as his glove at shortstop is considered legitimate, and young shortstop prospects who can field, hit and run are always in great demand. If it all comes together for Marte, he could potentially be an above-average major league shortstop.
Marte figures to start the 2012 season in a short-season league, either in the Arizona Rookie League or in the short-season A Northwest League. Marte is probably four to five years away from being on the major league radar, but he's someone to keep an eye out on as a potential sleeper for the 2012 season.