Reds infielder Noelvi Marte should be off limits this offseason
Noelvi Marte barely got his feet wet in 2023, but fans saw enough from the club's top prospect to get excited. In fact, that remarkable hitting streak at the end of last season will carry over into Opening Day in 2024.
As excited as the Reds fanbase is about Elly De La Cruz, they should maintain that same level of enthusiasm concerning Marte - perhaps even more so. While De La Cruz looked lost in the batters' box at times during his rookie campaign, Marte appeared to be locked in.
Marte brings a smooth right-handed stroke to the middle of the Reds batting order and the defensive versatility to play both shortstop and third base. Don't sleep on the idea that, over the long haul, Marte may well be the Reds starting shortstop instead of De La Cruz.
Marte mixes power with contact, and while he doesn't possess that elite speed that De La Cruz, the 21-year-old is not slow on the base paths. Marte's first measurable "stat" in the big leagues was actually a stolen bases that he recorded as a pinch runner.
Despite playing during the final month of the 2023 season, Noelvi Marte's rookie status is still in intact heading into 2024, meaning that he's under team-control through at least 2029. The Reds are unlikley to part ways with a player who won't even reach arbitration until 2027.