Jefry Marte was acquired last winter from the Tigers, beginning the season at Triple-A Salt Lake before getting the call in mid-May only to be sent right back down, returning at the end of the month for the duration of the season. Marte is a third baseman by trade but can dabble at first and corner outfield, increasing the probability he cracks the Opening Day roster. Just 25, the righty has above-average power while hitting sufficient flyballs to take advantage. His contact rate is average, though it would behoove him to draw a few more walks. Heading into the season, Marte isn't ticketed for a starting job, but with the aging and fragile duo of Yunel Escobar and Cameron Maybin slated for third base and left field, respectively, Marte's bat should make its way into the lineup frequently enough to be a sneaky play in AL-only formats. There's a decent chance he takes over at one of the spots regularly, at which point his power makes him mixed-league-worthy, and he could see an uptick in playing time to begin the season with Albert Pujols working his way back from foot surgery.
Marte's chances of making the Opening Day roster seem to have improved in light of Luis Valbuena's injury. Valbuena is expected to miss four-to-six weeks with a Grade 1 hamstring strain, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. C.J. Cron figures to take on the primary share of the workload at first base in Valbuena's absence, but the door is now open for Marte to make the team as a bench option. Marte can help out at first base, third base and left field, while also providing right-handed pop in pinch-hit situations. The 25-year-old has been hot at the dish this spring, going 15-for-49 (.306 average) with three homers, nine RBI and eight walks to only four strikeouts.
With the acquisition of Luis Valbuena, Marte has likely lost his spot on the 25-man roster, according to the Orange County Register. This move would make sense considering Marte served as a backup infielder last season, and Valbuena can play both first and third base. He will turn 26 years old this season and showed a bit of life at the plate last season with a .252/.310/.481 slash line in 284 plate appearances. Marte's ability to play at the corners in both the infield and the outfield would make him the first man up should anyone go down to injury at those positions.
Marte went 1-for-4 for with a solo homer and two runs scored in a win over the Astros on Friday. Marte crushed a 1-1 offering from Brad Peacock to give the Angels a four-run lead in the bottom of the third inning. The 25-year-old has shown some nice power in 2016, as he has collected 14 homers in just 251 at-bats.
Marte homered and drove in four runs in a 2-for-4 game Tuesday against the Athletics Marte was in the depths of a 9-for-45 slump with just one extra-base hit, a double, dating back to Sept. 2. He broke out in a big way, as he also double Tuesday night and notched his first four RBI game of the season. Marte owns a .251/.307/.461 batting line and with 13 home runs in 84 games, he has shown intriguing power that will deserve watching come next season.
Marte is not in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Rangers, according to Adam Chodzko of the Angels. Marte is 6-for-19 (.316) through six games this month, but he will not start Sunday afternoon. Rafael Ortega will get the nod in left field for the Angels.