PHILADELPHIA -- Pirates outfield prospect Starling Marte was diagnosed with a fractured left hamate bone during a visit to a hand specialist Monday and will undergo surgery on the hand Tuesday. The procedure will involve removing the hook of the hamate bone.
Marte, whom Baseball America listed as the organization's sixth-best prospect heading into 2010, is expected to miss 8-10 weeks recovering from the procedure. That timetable would have him ready to return for the final month of the Minor League season.
The good news for Marte is that most players who suffer broken hamates go on to have a full recovery, even if it takes a little time for the power and timing to all return to pre-injury levels. The Pirates don't have to look far for an example of that, as Pedro Alvarez broke his hamate bone and underwent the same procedure in 2008. Alvarez, the organization's top prospect, has had no issues since.
Marte, 21, played in 26 games for high Class A Bradenton (Fla.) this season before the injury sidelined him. He hit .283 with eight extra-base hits, nine stolen bases and 12 RBIs. He spent most of last season with the organization's low Class A West Virginia club, where the outfielder hit .312 and swiped 24 bases.
He was signed out of the Dominican Republic at the age of 18 and was rated by Baseball America as having the best outfield arm in the organization.