Spring training results are basically meaningless, and yet as portents of things to come are concerned, Ketel Marte homering on Sunday, in his first plate appearance of the Cactus League season, was a positive. The 26-year-old Diamondback is coming off a breakout, MVP-caliber season, albeit one that ended with him on the sidelines. Marte didn’t play a single game after September 17 due to a stress reaction in his lower back, and while he didn’t need surgery, his recovery was something of an abstraction until that first knock; the same can be said for baseball in general.
Behold, let the new season begin:
— MLB Dominicana (@MLBDominicana) February 23, 2020
The switch-hitting Marte enjoyed a dazzling 2019, setting career highs in virtually every key offensive category. He hit .329/.389/.592, numbers that respectively ranked second, seventh, and fourth in the NL; his 150 wRC+ ranked fourth as well, behind only Christian Yelich (174), Cody Bellinger (162), and Anthony Rendon (154). That performance wasn’t anything that could have been expected given his previous history, as…