2006 Ranking: NR
Cardinal: Selected in the 18th round of the June, 2006 First-Year Player
Draft. 2006 AVG. AB H HR RBI R SB BB K OBP. SLG OPS
Jason Scott (37): Marti barely cracked my list at No. 37. Impressed by his strength and power in spring training this past season, the Cardinals learned that he would have to go through the draft process to sign with an organization. They decided to take a chance on him in the 18th round, knowing his time-frame to make it to the Majors is not very long. Marti insists that he is 28, but multiple sources, including MiLB.com list him as being 32. When you factor in his age, 28 or 32, and the fact that he had no professional experience prior to signing, I just don't see much to get excited about. Hopefully I'm wrong.
Leonda Markee (15): Marti's high ranking by me is weighted towards his potential to help the major league squad sooner than some of his fellow outfielders who may have higher upsides. Marti had an excellent debut at Palm Beach in just eighty-five at bats before being promoted to AA Springfield on July 8th. There he tailed off badly which impacted my ranking of him. However, he bounced back in the Arizona Fall League which gives hope that he may be able to contribute. At a questionable 28-years-old, Marti needs to move very quickly to retain value. I look for him to start the 2007 season in Memphis.
Ray Mileur (34): It is hard to get past those first impressions. The first time I saw Amaury, he reminded me of a little shorter version of the former Cubs' star, "The Hawk", Andre Dawson. Dawson played 21 seasons in the Major Leagues, (Montreal, Cubs, Red Sox, Marlins) notching 438 home runs and 1591 RBI. He also added 314 stolen bases and eight Gold Gloves and was an eight time All-Star, and to me, Dawson looked like the perfect baseball player.
Marti was an 18th-round pick by the Cardinals this year after defecting from Cuba. He hit .249/.329/.433 in 217 at-bats between Single-A Palm Beach and Double-A Springfield this year. He didn't play very well the couple of times I watched him play and unless he plays better in 07, Amaury will top out as a Triple-A player, if even that.
Because of visa restrictions as a Cuban defector, Marti did not play winter ball this year as you might expect and is working out in Palm Beach waiting for spring training.
If looks were everything, we have a young Andre Dawson on our hands. And that ain't bad.
Brian Walton (21): The 32-year-old Cuban émigré began his USA career in June with Palm Beach, where he put up a .282/.351/.494 line in 20 games. Marti was quickly promoted to Double-A Springfield, where he drew raves with a number of long home runs before falling into a batting slump. He ended with six home runs in 132 at-bats, but hit just .227 and slugging 100 points lower than in Springfield. Marti also fanned a whopping 41 times in the Texas League.
This fall, Marti was assigned to the Arizona Fall League' Peoria Saguaros where he was selected to the AFL's first annual Futures Game. He continued to be a feast-or-famine hitter, batting .345 with an OPS of .945, but also fanned 23 times in 84 at-bats.
Marti should start the season in Memphis, especially given the reality that his career hour glass has far less sand remaining than any other Cardinals prospect, whether you believe he is 28 or 32.
He should be pushed quickly and he will either cut it or be gone. If hard work has anything to do with it, Marti has a leg up on his competition.
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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