Now that the 2023 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a deeper dive into the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the roster for the Mets at the end of the season from A (Abraham Almonte) to W (Josh Walker). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue the series today with a look at outfielder Starling Marte.
Player Review: Starling Marte
2023 Stats: 85 Games, 315 At Bats, .248 Batting Average, 78 Hits, 7 Doubles, 1 Triple, 5 Home Runs, 28 RBIs, 38 Runs Scored, 24 Stolen Bases, 16 Walks, .625 OPS, -0.8 WAR
Story: After a strong debut with the Mets in 2022, Starling Marte was hoping for a strong encore in 2023. Marte underwent double groin surgery in the offseason and was slow to start camp, causing him to miss the World Baseball Classic, but he was ready to go on Opening Day. Things appeared to be trending in a positive direction for Marte, who hit a key home run in the Mets’ home opener against the Miami Marlins, but he suffered a neck injury later in that series that bothered him for a while.
Marte played regularly for the first few months but fell into a deep batting slump that caused manager Buck Showalter to drop him from the No. 2 hole in the lineup all the way down to No. 6. That decision was designed to take some pressure off Marte but he never really got on track. There were also questions about how Marte’s groins were feeling as his stellar defense took a step back in 2023, including several instances where Marte was tentative pursuing balls in the outfield that cost the Mets runs.
The injury bug came for Marte again in July as he landed on the injured list after suffering migraines prior to a game against the Chicago White Sox. Marte missed a few weeks before returning in Baltimore after the trade deadline, where he played in just two games before going back on the shelf with more groin issues. With the Mets out of the race, the team opted to let Marte take his time on rehab to strengthen the area in an attempt to prevent further injuries. Marte seemed to be responding positively to the treatments and was attempting to come back but simply ran out of time as the Mets didn’t want to rush him back to the field with nothing left to play for.
Marte’s precipitous drop-off by 4 WAR year-to-year was an underrated problem in the Mets’ disastrous season. There is no question that the impact of double groin surgery took a toll on Marte and he never looked comfortable at the plate or in the field throughout the season.
Contract Status: Signed Through 2025 (Will Earn $20.75 Million In 2024)
Odds Of Returning: 100%
2024 Role: Starting Right Fielder
The Mets will have Marte back in 2024 and have to hope that the extended rest for his groins will mean a healthier and more productive player in 2024. It does make sense for the Mets to have a contingency plan in case Marte misses more time with injuries in 2024, which is an unfortunate reality given his track record and the fact he will turn 36 next season.
Check back tomorrow as our Player Review Series continues with a look at infielder Ronny Mauricio!