Kang Jeong-ho’s former teammate, 35-year-old outfielder, pushes Akuna away… and Bae Ji-hwan, too, in a ‘blast’

Suddenly, the National League’s stolen base race has taken off. A 35-year-old veteran has taken the National League’s stolen base race by storm in a season dominated by 20-somethings.

Starling Marte (35, New York Mets) is no stranger to Korean Major League Baseball fans. He debuted with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012 and played until 2019, teaming up with Kang Jung-ho. Marte is also a veteran. He played for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Miami Marlins before signing a four-year, $78 million contract with the New York Mets in the 2021-2022 free agency period.

He has a .288 career batting average and a .791 OPS, and hit over 20 home runs in 2018 and 2019. He also drove in more than 80 runs twice. This season, however, his bat hasn’t quite lived up to expectations, as he’s batting .245 with two home runs, 16 RBIs, and a .620 OPS.

He also has a .311 on-base percentage, but there’s one area where he’s showing incredible pace: stolen bases. On the 3rd, he stole his 17th base of the season against the Toronto Blue Jays. What’s even more amazing is that he only missed three times. An 85% success rate on stolen bases. Since 1 April against the Miami Marlins, 18 April against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and 23 April against the San Francisco Giants.메이저놀이터

He is second in the National League in stolen bases, having added nine since May. He added two more in June before catching his breath against the Toronto Blue Jays on 4 April. Marte has a narrow lead over third-place Corbin Carroll (Arizona Diamondbacks, 16 stolen bases), fourth-place Bae Ji-Hwan (Pittsburgh Pirates, 15 stolen bases), fifth-place Jayson Chisome Jr. (Miami Marlins) and sixth-place Nico Hounsou (Chicago Cubs, over 14 stolen bases). He is two ahead of Bae.

Seven behind Ronald Acuna Jr. (Atlanta Braves, 24 stolen bases), who leads the National League in stolen bases this year. The gap between Acuna and the top runners was about 10, but Marte’s recent surge has narrowed the gap between the top two to seven.

For Marte, it all comes down to fitness. When young players play full-time, their fitness drops and their batting pace drops. If you can’t hit, you can’t get on base, so being healthy and hitting well is the most important thing for stealing bases consistently.

While Marte’s bat production may be down, his 331 career stolen bases are hard to ignore. It will be interesting to see how long Carroll, the National League’s No. 1 rookie, will be able to hold his own between the explosive Bae and the monster hitter Acuna.

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