Noelvi Marte Shows Off Tantalizing Skills In Instructs
Physically, Noelvi Marte certainly looked the part last summer at the alternate training site, working alongside Gold Glove shortstop J.P. Crawford.
And the 6-foot-1, 181-pound Marte was 18 years old at the time. He turned 19 in October.
But then he took some at-bats against Mariners big league lefthander Marco Gonzales, and he fielded rocket ground balls at shortstop that would be tough to handle for anybody, let alone someone who has never played a minor league game in the United States.
Marte dominated his first professional season in the Dominican Summer League in 2019, when he hit .309/.371/.511 with 18 doubles, nine homers and 17 stolen bases in 65 games. But the intention of bringing Marte to Seattle last summer was strictly for more hands-on development during the coronavirus pandemic.
When Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto got to watch Marte, who signed from the Dominican Republic in July 2018, again a few months later in Arizona at instructional league, he could see more clearly why he’s been so tantalizing.
“In the (player development) league, the growth and the obvious potential of Noelvi Marte stood out in ways you couldn’t grasp if you saw him at (Seattle's) T-Mobile Park playing against major leaguers,” Dipoto said. “Or at the alternate site where you see some tool show up every day and you think, ‘Wow.’
“But when you see him in Arizona playing against kids more generally his age, he was a dominant force rather than just an interesting young player. He was often times the most exciting player on the field with a really good group of players.”
That might sound like GM speak, but there were plenty of similar testimonies from those who watched Marte at the alternate site or during instructs.
The next step for Marte will be making his full-season debut, which will happen this season.
— The Mariners' prospects who made the Opening Day roster include outfielders Jake Fraley and Taylor Trammell. Fraley took a bases-loaded, game-winning walk in the bottom of the 10th inning of the team's Opening Day win against the Giants. Lefthander Anthony Misiewicz made the roster as a reliever.
— Trammell was already poised to make the Opening Day roster in left field with his stellar play in spring training. But he then ended up starting in center field with Kyle Lewis on the injured list. Trammell entered spring training seemingly on the outside looking in until turning heads in camp by hitting .311/.392/.644 with six doubles and three homers in 45 at-bats.