Pirates President Frank Coonelly Knows Starling Marte Needs To Be Better

'You can be and should be the best player on the field'

The Fan Morning Show
March 04, 2019 - 9:37 am
Coonelly w/ Dunlap, Mack

Jim Graci 93.7 The Fan

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- The Fan Morning Show will be live from Bradenton, Florida at Pirates Spring Training for this entire week. They will have many members of the Pirates organization on the show and Monday's show featured Pirates president Frank Coonelly.

Coonelly first admitted that the Pirates need more power than what they had in 2018.

"Last year we finished around the middle of the league in terms of runs scored, towards the bottom of the league in terms of home runs but in the middle of the league in runs scored and at the end of the day runs scored is what matters, having more runs than the other team. We have to figure out a way to score more runs," said Coonelly. "We made some strategic additions in terms of bringing back Jung Ho Kang, if he has that type of power that we saw in '15 and '16 he could be that thumper that we could really use. Plus we need to get more from returning players."

"We know Josh Bell has more power than we saw in 2018, we saw it in '17 and throughout his career. We know Colin Moran can develop that power if he wins the third base job. Throughout the outfield, we had an outfield that led the National League last year in extra base hits and that's even with Polanco missing an entire month of the season. He was really coming into, in my judgment, his own and being one of the more productive outfield hitters in the league so I think there are the makings for the power there but we'll see."           

Coonelly was asked about his centerfielder Starling Marte and how he may not be focused at all times. He didn't shy away from that claim. He talked about the exit interviews with Marte and how this topic was discussed with him.

"With Starling it was very clear, you can be and should be the best player on the field and we're talking our team, the other team, most time we play a baseball game," said Coonelly. "And we don't always see that, we need to see that virtually every game that you play." 

"So that was the word going out of the camp and coming back in we've seen a very motivated Starling Marte and I'm looking forward to him having a really big year this year because all the talent's there, all the tools are there, we've seen them, they've played out. Obviously he's a multi-time Gold Glove winner, the power's there, he can steal bases, hit home runs. He can do things on a baseball field that few people can do adn he's now the centerfielder so he's got those responsibilities to be the leader of our outfield. We're looking forward to Starling Marte being a big part of the success of the 2019 Pittsburgh Pirates." 

You can hear the entire interview with Pirates president Frank Coonelly including his thoughts on improving the infield defense this year, a possible long-term deal with Jameson Taillon and how the Pirates can take advantage of current baseball economics on The Fan Morning Show below.            

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