PHOENIX — It wasn't just a breakout year in 2019 for Ketel Marte, it was an extraordinary year. The then 25-year-old had put up mediocre stats in his first four seasons in the big leagues and that all changed in a big way.
Marte totaled 22 homers in his first four seasons. In 2019, he hit 32. Not only that, he hit for a .329 average at the plate and added 187 hits and 92 RBIs for the D-backs.
That, along with his defensive abilities at both second base and center field, earned him first first All-Star appearance AND fourth place in National League MVP voting, sandwiched between some of the biggest names in the sport.
Heading into 2020, expectations are high for Marte as the D-backs' top player looks to somehow build on the incredible season he had last year.
Heading into the 2020 season, ESPN ranked its "Top 100" MLB players and put the D-backs second baseman at No. 44 saying, "few, if anyone, matched the jump made by Marte in 2019." The list was voted on by analysts, reporters and contributors.
He's the only D-backs player to make the list. Marte came in ranked 20 spots ahead of former D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
Just ahead of Marte are names like Chris Sale, Mike Soroka and division-rival Fernando Tatis Jr.
In ESPN's ranking, Marte comes in as the 29th-best position player.
The top 5 of the list includes Mike Trout, Gerrit Cole, Jacob deGrom, Christian Yelich and NL West newcomer Mookie Betts.
The D-backs open the season March 26 at Chase Field against the Atlanta Braves.