A pair of highly-rated prospects made their MLB debuts on Thursday with both making big first impressions. The Pirates called up OF Starling Marte, #36 on Baseball America’s Midseason Top 50 Prospects list, and he took the first pitch he saw over the fence for a home run. Marte ended up going 2-for-4 in Pittsburgh’s 5-3 win over Houston.
Marte signed as a free agent out of the Dominican Republic in January of 2007 and had risen to AAA while hitting for power and average at several stops. 2011 at Altoona was a big year as Marte hit .332/.370/.500 with 12 HR and 50 RBI. This year at AAA Indianapolis, his BA was down to .286 but he had 12 HR and 62 RBI in 388 AB for a OPS of .847.
Mets RHP Matt Harvey also made his MLB debut on Thursday and he came out of the gate with an impressive win as he fanned 11 Arizona Diamondbacks over 5 1/3 innings, allowing just three hits, three walks and no ER. Harvey was #34 on the same BA midseason propect list, two spots above Marte.
Harvey was #7 overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft and got to the majors quickly after three succesful minor league stops. In 2011, Harvey split time between hiA and AA and went 13-5 over 135 2/3 IP with 47 walks and 156 K’s. The numbers were roughly the same at AAA Buffalo this season, earning the callup.