Is Ketel Marte the Best Second Baseman in the National League?

If there is one thing that has gone right in Arizona this season, it is the play of Ketel Marte, who should start in the 2024 All-Star Game.

Ketel Marte
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - AUGUST 21: Ketel Marte #4 of the Arizona Diamondbacks gets ready in the batters box against the St Louis Cardinals at Chase Field on August 21, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

This hasn’t been the 2024 the Arizona Diamondbacks had hoped for.

Coming off a trip to the World Series, general manager Mike Hazen spent the offseason filling the gaps that may have kept the D-backs from winning it all. So far, however, their plays have not worked due in large parts to injuries (e.g., Eduardo Rodriguez, Geraldo Perdomo, Merrill Kelly, and Alek Thomas) as well as a sophomore slump by Corbin Carroll.

Currently, the Snakes are 25-32, so not terrible, but also really not what they wanted.

One staple through it all, however, is the stellar work on both sides of the plate from second baseman Ketel Marte. He had a largely overlooked but brilliant 2023, and this year, he looks to be picking up where he left off.

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What Are Marte’s Numbers So Far?

The 30-year-old switch hitter has already accumulated 1.8 fWAR. That includes a slashline of .265/.319/.473 with a wRC+ of 121 (where 100 is average).

Add to that 10 home runs (he hit 25 in 2023) and 13 doubles (he had 26 of those in 2023), and it’s clear that Marte is on track to certainly equal if not surpass his 2023 numbers.

As if that’s not impressive enough, don’t forget his recent hitting streak.

It ended at 21 games when the D-backs faced the Marlins on May 24. Still, the streak underscores how consistent he has been this season.

When comparing Marte to his teammates on the D-backs roster, it’s clear that he and Christian Walker are the two best players on the team, as Walker leads the team in fWAR and has one more home run than Marte.

In terms of defense, he’s already accumulated eight Defensive Runs Saved and five Outs Above Average. (He had two DRS and six OAA last season.) In short, his defensive game is strong.

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That’s One Team. How Does He Compare to Other Second Basemen?

The numbers are compelling.

As ranked by fWAR, Marte’s 1.8 is tied with Brice Turan of the Milwaukee Brewers and behind only Jordan Westberg (2.1) and Marcus Semien (2.0). So Marte is the best second baseman in the National League by this measure.

In addition, his 10 homers are tied with Nolan Gorman of the Cardinals to lead all second basemen (although Jose Altuve, Marcus Semien each have nine). His 13 doubles puts him in a tie for second with four other second basemen.

His .475 SLG is second only to Westberg’s .508.

Defensively, Marte has been elite as well. His eight DRS tie him for third with the highest DRS numbers belonging to AL second baseman Marcus Semien. His five OAA put him in a tie for third.

Given the D-backs offensive struggles, it’s easy to overlook how good Ketel Marte has been.

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Soon it will be time to begin voting for the 2024 All-Star rosters. If there’s any justice in the universe, Ketal Marte should start for the National League.