On Sunday, the Pirates sent five players to the minors, including outfielder Starling Marte, whose brilliant performance so far this spring had Pirates fans buzzing.
The other demotions were outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and pitchers Kyle McPherson, Bryan Morris and Justin Wilson, none of whom were expected to make the team.
Marte hit .520 with three home runs in 25 at bats this spring, and he was regarded as one of the Bucs' top prospects even before that. Nonetheless, Spring Training performances don't usually mean a whole lot. And as promising as Marte is, he draws very few walks and could stand to work on his plate discipline at Class AAA, a level at which he hasn't yet played. As I wrote on Saturday, it's important to keep Marte's spring performance in perspective.
But he's not a finished product yet, and his issues with walks have the chance to be more important going forward than a lot of people think. Remember all the hype when Jeff Francoeur came into the league? Remember how bumpy the first several years of his career actually turned out to be?
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