PHOENIX – Ketel Marte is quietly having an impressive season. Fans of the Arizona Diamondbacks are well aware of it, but now we’re about to find out just how much everyone else is paying attention too.
Starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday, fans are able to vote for Marte as the National League second baseman. He’s up against Ozzie Albies of the Braves and the Brewers’ Mike Moustakas for the honor. Voting concludes Thursday at 1 pm Arizona time, with the winner being named the NL starter.
This is a different voting process than the one Major League Baseball has employed in years past. Marte, Albies and Moustakas were the top three in the primary voting at the position, setting the table for this 28-hour window that will determine the starter.
Albies had the most votes in the primary, but now the slate gets wiped clean. And a strong case could be made that Marte is having the best season of the trio. His 20 home runs are nine more than Albies and just two behind Moustakas, and he leads the way in runs (53), RBI (51) and by a considerable margin in average (.312).
Speaking at a press conference before Tuesday’s game against the Dodgers, Marte stressed how making it to an All-Star Game has been a dream of his since he was with the Mariners, noting that he’d gladly accept an invite to the Home Run Derby too, if asked, and would bat right-handed.
Marte enters Tuesday riding a seven-game multi-hit streak, tied with Luis Gonzalez for the longest in franchise history. In fact, nobody in baseball has gone longer than eight straight games since Mark Grace had nine consecutive multi-hit efforts from Sept. 27, 1995-April 5, 1996.
The 25-year old can also put the fact that he has toggled between second base and center field this season on his resume. And if he manages to hit one more pitch over the fence left-handed in the next 11 games, he’ll become the first player in history with double-digit home runs from both sides of the plate before the All-Star break. So no big deal — just, you know, baseball history.