2006 Ranking: 30
Cardinal: Signed to a 2005 contract as a non-drafted free agent on October
2, 2004. 2006 AVG. AB H HR RBI R SB BB K OBP. SLG OPS
Jason Scott (35): Martinez actually moved down in my rankings this season after a sub-par 2006 season with Quad Cities. However, his overall ranking didn't change. The 20-year-old racked up eight home runs and 20 doubles in 2006, showing that he does have the ability to hit for a little power. He is also a great athlete and has shown great discipline at the plate. I still believe Martinez has the ability to move up the rankings next season and I do expect him to do so. I wouldn't be surprised to see him make the Palm Beach team out of spring training.
Leonda Markee (39): Martinez was The Birdhouse's overall 30th-ranked prospect on the 2005 list and remains exactly at that slot this year. He is my 16th-ranked position prospect in 2006 and dropped from my 30th-ranked 2005 prospect to 39th-ranked 2006 prospect. He spent 2006 at Quad Cities, bypassing short-season A ball altogether, and his numbers dropped from his 2005 level of .300/.387/.500/.887. His strikeouts per at bat improved slightly but his walk rate declined, the latter from one walk every 8.7 plate appearances in 2005 to once every 19.8 this season. But the main reason he dropped from 30th to 39th on my list is due to the new influx of players. Nine of my Top 40 made this professional debut in 2006 and they all rank ahead of Mr. Martinez. He turns 21 in January so has time on his side.
Ray Mileur (31): I expected Martinez to be ranked higher than #30 this year. Last season I ranked him at #25 which was a higher ranking than given by the other members of the staff and I thought and said then that by now I thought he would be a Top 10 prospect on this list. He certainly has all the tools to be a major league ballplayer, but he hasn't shown signs of putting it all together yet.
Martinez spent about three weeks on the DL in August with a bone bruise on his left foot limited him to playing in the field in only two games after 08/02, so that didn't help him in his development this season.
Martinez didn't fare well playing for the Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuela Winter League. In 19 games he hit just .161, 0 HR, 3 RBI with a line of .212/.161/.373.
It is his play in his homeland, in Venezuela this winter, that gives me some reason for concern about this prospect that I believed in so much last season.
Brian Walton (17): The scores indicate that I am much, much higher on this athletic Venezuelan than my peers. Martinez possesses a vastly underrated package of batting average and power. Over one third of his hits have gone for extra bases and his career batting average is a respectable .279.
Martinez has decent speed and in his short career has walked almost as much as he struck out. (38 vs. 41) It is especially worth noting that he jumped up from Johnson City last year to Quad Cities this year.
Yes, the 20-year-old's game still needs polish, whether he ends up at second base or shortstop, but he has the opportunity for continued growth in 2007. I like his chances.
STAFF COMMENTS KEY: Staff Member (Individual Ranking), NR = Not RatedTo see our entire list of 40 prospects as they are unveiled daily, click here.
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