Reds top prospect Marte makes statement with 3-hit Winter League debut

November 22nd, 2023

Reds top prospect finished 2023 with a flourish, excelling in the six weeks he spent down the stretch in Cincinnati, giving fans a glimpse of yet another talented youngster the 2024 team will be built around.

Months later, Marte returned to the field in the Dominican Winter League -- and he’s still raking.

The 22-year-old Marte was the offensive star of Gigantes del Cibao’s 5-0 win over Licey on Tuesday night, making a splash with a three-hit night in his winter ball debut. Marte doubled, scored a run and drove in another in a game that featured many former and current big leaguers, including White Sox righty Luis Patiño, Fernando Rodney and Marlins No. 13 prospect Dane Myers.

That’s precisely the kind of production that made Marte the prize of the Luis Castillo trade at the 2022 Trade Deadline, and the kind he put on full display in his first 35 games in Cincinnati. Marte, the game’s No. 23 overall prospect, slashed .316/.366/.456 with three homers and six steals in that debut, which has him being mentioned in the early 2024 Rookie of the Year conversation.

Marte manned shortstop for Gigantes on Tuesday, and did see four games down the stretch with the Reds at the position he primarily came up playing. But he is expected to play mostly third base in Cincinnati. This is the second time the Cotui, Dominican Republic, native is playing winter ball in his home country, and first since playing six games with Gigantes as a 20-year-old during the 2021-22 season.