For the first time in his 11 years as a pro baseball player, Andy Marte didn't have any offers from Major League organizations last season.
It's not surprising when looking at his numbers in 2011, when he hit .202 in 97 games with the Pittsburgh Pirates' Class AAA Indianapolis affiliate. Plus, the now 29-year-old Marte isn't exactly young by baseball standards.
Still, the Dominican Republic native wasn't far removed from playing 97 games in the big leagues with the Cleveland Indians in 2010. And he had 301 games of Major League experience under his belt.
The call from a Major League organization never came in 2012, though. He could have gone to the Mexican League, but instead opted to stay home for a change to spend time with his two boys, ages 4 and 6.
"I know it's good for me and sometimes good for them," Marte said. "They know I'm out here working and making money for them. But there's nothing like being with your family."
Marte admits the time away from the game helped him clear his mind a bit, which might be contributing to his hot start in York thus far.
Through Wednesday, the Revs' third baseman is leading the league in RBIs (21) and moved into a tie with teammate Brian Burgamy for the team lead in homers (three) when he drilled a two-out, three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning in York's 15-8 win over Somerset on Wednesday. He currently holds a .299 batting average, down slightly from the .317 average he had through Saturday before going 4-for-17 (.235) in the last four games.
"Sometimes it just happens," Marte said of the recent dip at the plate. "Like, I'm playing today, so we'll see what happens today."
And that's the difference between playing in York and his sporadic playing time in the majors from 2005 to 2011, during which he batted .218 in 838 plate appearances. Marte was also on the opposite end of a couple trades involving Edgar Renteria and Coco Crisp.
"Just like here, the last few games I haven't hit but I'm playing today," Marte said in an interview before Tuesday's game. "In the big leagues, they would go the other way. If you're awful today, the next day you're on the bench, unless you're a star."
Getting back: Marte has had a few offers already this season to play in the Mexican League, where he could make more money. But he's turned them down thus far to stick it out in the Atlantic League in the hopes of getting back to an affiliated organization and eventually getting back to the big leagues to prove himself one more time.
It's the exact same thinking followed by former York player Johan Limonta, who got signed by the San Diego Padres on Tuesday after saying no to Mexican League clubs the last few weeks.
"Everyone wanted me to stay here for a couple weeks and then this happened," Limonta said Tuesday before leaving York. "I told him (Marte) the same thing. 'If you have faith that you'll get signed (by a big league) team, then make a decision.' I didn't tell him to stay (in York) or go (to Mexico), but if you believe in yourself and believe in what you can do, just do what you feel in your heart."
-- Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.