In 2007, much maligned New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya signed a highly touted teenaged triumvirate of Latin Americans: infielders Jefry Marte and Wilmer Flores and outfielder Cesar Puello.
All three would find their way onto top-prospect lists over the next half-decade. None have quite reached their potential. And the Mets have given up on all three. They agreed to trade Flores to Milwaukee for Carlos Gomez at the 2015 trade deadline, only to watch the trade fall apart, then released Puello later that year.
But Marte was first. Three years earlier, they traded him to Oakland. The Athletics then released him in 2014. He made it to the majors with Detroit last year, but the Tigers, too, soon gave up on him.
Enter the Angels, who acquired Marte for double-A infielder Kody Eaves in January, and, in this season of trials for trials’ sake, have given him nearly 200 plate appearances to prove himself in the majors.
He has shown, chiefly, that he has power. The 25-year-old’s home run Sunday against his former team was his 10th of the season. His .243 average and .286 on-base percentage are pedestrian, but his .453 slugging percentage is better than Albert Pujols’ mark.
“He’s showing us what was projected,” Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. “He can definitely drive a ball to all parts of the field. Hopefully this experience of getting at-bats will let us see what his upside is and if he can reach it.”
Marte also homered against Detroit and its Sunday starter Anibal Sanchez earlier this season.
“That’s the team that I was with first,” Marte said. “So, I had to do my best.”
Until Saturday, Marte had started one game at third base since July 1 and made an errant throw in that game. He played there Saturday and Sunday, but will not do so regularly once Yunel Escobar is activated, likely later this week.
Marte and rookie Kaleb Cowart each specialize in third base, and the Angels want to provide September opportunities to both of them. They won’t be at their traditional positions.
“Yunel’s our third baseman,” Scioscia said. “We’re gonna have to get creative. We might have to tap into some of their versatility.”
Right-hander Cam Bedrosian is slated to see a vascular specialist Monday or Tuesday to determine whether he needs season-ending surgery for the blood clot in his upper right arm that was found last week. … Right-hander Garrett Richards will throw from 105 feet for 15 minutes on Monday, in the next stage of his steady throwing progression after a stem-cell injection improved his torn ulnar collateral ligament. … Left-hander Brett Oberholtzer will remain in the Angels’ rotation for at least one more cycle. He made his first start of the season Saturday. … The Angels outrighted infielder Johnny Giavotella to triple-A Salt Lake after he cleared waivers. He will be used as a utility man in the team’s final week of the season.