The Mets won this game in the tenth. 21-year old OF Ruben Martinez walked and stole second. Martinez features plus speed and some strike zone awareness.
Guess who singled him home? If you guessed 3B Jefry Marte (pictured) shooting a line drive the other way into rightcenter field, you win. In addition to his strong start with the stick, the Mets are very pleased with Marte’s improvement defensively, as Mets Coordinator of Instruction/Infield Coordinator Kevin Morgan said, “he’s done a good job thus far, and he’s continuing to progress.” Morgan continued, “he has good hands and he’s really worked hard at it.” Late in Tuesday’s game, on a softly hit ball to his left, Marte scooted over, moving his feet, fielded the ball cleanly and threw strongly across the diamond. This play is evidence of some the progress he’s made. Morgan says that last year when he came to instructs, he needed to improve on “some things mechanically. He didn’t move his feet as well as he should have at times and therefore the ball would play him, but he’s learned how to play the ball… and be fundamentally sound.”
Marte wasn’t the only GCL infielder on the left side flashing a little leather. 19-year old shortstop Luis Nieves made the routine plays look awfully easy. When Morgan calls Nieves, a “slick fielder” that’s high praise, although it gets better, when Morgan says, he has, “good hands, and an average arm. He probably has some of the best hands in the organization. He’s one of those guys who’s been blessed.”
Remember, in this context “average” means average for a major league shortstop or in layman’s terms: very strong.