4) NY Mets will see Starling Marte decline slightly
Starling Marte is now a 34-year-old right fielder coming off of core surgery and an injury that sidelined him for a good chunk of the final weeks in 2023. An athlete who relied a lot on his speed as recently as the 2021 season, I think we start to see a decline from him in 2023.
This doesn’t mean Marte will be in jeopardy of losing his job. He’s coming off of a season in which he hit .292/.347/.468. The numbers are close to the .290/.346/.453 he has hit in his career. It’s not so outrageous to expect him to do something similar.
Injuries could be a big factor, though. Marte played 120 games in 2021 and only 118 for the Mets in 2022. After playing 61 games in the 2020 season when there were only 60 games scheduled for each team (thanks to a trade), Marte has been an incredible producer but also regularly absent.
Marte’s power numbers for the Mets last year exceeded expectations. I wouldn’t expect him to hit home runs at the same rate again. He did steal far fewer bases than the 47 he had the year prior, swiping just 18 of them. He was actually caught 9 times after a season where he attempted to steal 52 and was caught just 5 times.
All great athletes decline eventually. A more noticeable one could be on the way for Marte.