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2016 Breakout Candidates: Ketel Marte

Following a quietly successful big league debut last season, Marte could be the secret X factor for Seattle in 2016 Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Following a quietly successful big league debut last season, Marte could be the secret X factor for Seattle in 2016
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

With such a great class of rookies last season, highlighted by two AL shortstops in Francisco Lindor and Carlos Correa, some guy just didn't get the attention they deserved. On July 31st of 2015, the former Seattle Mariner number 8 prospect Ketel Marte (As of 2014) made his debut, and even though he went 0-4 and didn't come back to the big leagues until August, he still deserved a little more publicty. In 57 games, Marte hit .283 with 2 HR, 17 RBI, 14 2B, and 8 steals, which gave Seattle the confidence to trade away their former number 9 prospect Brad Miller. Miller marked the second former highly regarded shortstop prospect to be traded away to Tampa Bay in two years, the first being Nick Franklin on July 31st of 2014. Both Miller and Franklin got off to slow starts in their first seasons in Seattle (Miller hit just .248 with 29 HR and 248 strikeouts across parts of three seasons in Seattle, while Franklin hit just .214 with 12 in parts of two seasons), but Marte has been a different story. While Marte doesn't posses the power potential Seattle felt Miller and Franklin had, he has an incredible ability to make consistent contact, has some nice extra base potential, nice speed, and an outstanding glove. If you missed what the 22 year old did last season, here is a brief look:

Marte is now the starting shortstop on a Mariner team that I believe is finally ready to take the long awaited big step towards being a serious contendor, and while he may be overshadowed by fellow teammates Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Felix Hernandez, and Kyle Seager, or fellow young shortstops like Lindor and Correa, keep and eye out for Ketel Marte. Marte has the ability to change a game in so many ways, and really could prove to be a big X factor for Seattle in 2016. 

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