D-Backs Trade Analysis: Nippert for Marte

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers swapped tall right-handed pitchers just before the start of the season: Dustin Nippert for Jose Marte.

Dustin Nippert stands 6-foot-7 and wields a fastball/curve combo that most pitchers can only dream about. Yet Nippert could never put it all together with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Out of minor league options and carrying a spring ERA of 14.40, the contending Diamondbacks had little choice but to trade him, as they could not afford to wait for him to develop any longer on their major league roster.

The Texas Rangers took advantage of the situation, and acquired Nippert without losing any of their top 50 prospects as ranked by our sister site, LoneStarDugout.com. For their part, the Diamondbacks did well to even net a pitcher as promising as Jose Marte.

Jose Marte
Marte, 24, split last year between Low-A Clinton and Hi-A Bakersfield, where he combined to go 4-4 with a 5.23 ERA in 45 games. The 6'5" right-hander walked 38 and struck out 67 while saving 15 games. After some early season struggles, the tall righty posted a 2.10 ERA with 11 saves in 28 second-half appearances (30 innings) last year for the Bakersfield Blaze.

Like Nippert, Marte is a power pitcher who could develop into a solid major leaguer if he can improve his command. The difference is that the Diamondbacks have years to develop Marte, while they failed to develop Nippert in the six seasons since they drafted him.

Marte was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cubs in 2001 and then signed with the Rangers in November 2004. He has struck out 174 and walked 92 in 152.2 professional innings.

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