Bittersweet feeling surround the New Jersey Jackals organization as they bid farewell to one of the pulses of the ball club over the past couple of seasons. Outfielder Alfredo Marte, Jackals cleanup hitter in both 2019 and 2021, has signed with the Mexican League.
Alfredo Marte played 71 games in the Major Leagues for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Angels prior to signing with the Jackals in 2019. He will always be remembered in Jackals history for his performance during the team's 2019 championship season. In that season, Marte hit .311/.388/.531 for a OPS of .919. He led the Can-Am League with 88 RBI and tied for the league lead in home runs with 16, all on the way to him being named the Can-Am League's 2019 Player of the Year. He also went 2-for-5 with two RBI in game 4 of the 2019 Can-Am League championship, helping the Jackals clinch their first league championship since 2004.
"He definitely is a big part of it," said Jackals outfielder Demetrius Moore, teammates with Marte for both the 2019 and 2021 seasons. "He definitely deserves it. Definitely happy for him and we're gonna wish him the best. But this is pro-ball. This is what it's about. When you're in indy ball, you're number one goal is to move up to get a chance to eventually go the major leagues. We're extremely happy for him. Wishing him the best. But at the end of the day, the model, the next man up. So we've just got to find a way to keep moving along and keep trying to find ways to win games."
After playing 12 games in the Dominican Winter League, Marte returned to the Jackals for the 2021 season. In the 38 games he's played this season, he hit .281/.348/.493 for a .841 OPS. He was leading the team in home runs with seven and was tied for the team lead in RBI with 29 by his last game with the Jackals on July 14, 2021 against the Sussex County Miners at home. His veteran leadership will also be missed in the Jackals clubhouse.
"Alfredo's a great teammate," said Jackals catcher Jason Agresti, who was also Marte's teammate for both 2019 and 2021. "He's a great player. He's a great guy. He's definitely gonna be missed in all facets of the game and especially in the clubhouse. He brings a veteran presence that we're definitely gonna miss. But he's in a great place. I'm happy for him. But we've gotta step up in his absence."
How do Jackals Fill Void of Alfredo Marte Departure?
But as usual, having players get signed to other ball clubs is part of the business of being a independent league baseball team. Meaning the Jackals will now have to find a way to move forward without Marte. Outfielder Todd Isaacs is currently out with injury and infielder Santiago Chirino is on paternity leave. Both of their returns could help fill the void left by Marte's departure.
"That's going to be a huge loss for us," said Jackals manager Brooks Carey. "We're going to lose a couple of more guys in the next few days so we're gonna have to regroup and we'll just call in some other troops."
Nevertheless, the New Jersey Jackals will surely miss Alfredo Marte's presence on and off the field while at the same time wishing him all the best as he advances into the next chapter of his baseball career.