C Russell Martin -- Prospect #4

Latest in a series on the top Dodger prospects as we count down among the very best.

Position- Catcher
Residence-East York, Ont., Canada
DOB- Feb 15, 1983
B/T- R/R
05 Club- Jacksonville (AA)

Navarro and Martin. Their names have been written together so often lately you may start to think of them as a team like Penn and Teller or Brooks and Dunn. No, they're hardy a team or, really, even teammates, for that matter.

Rather, they are rivals in the Dodger quest for a catcher who is adept in all things catchers should be. Navarro has the lead in one vital area, he has some big league experience while Martin has yet to play above AA.

However, many feel that the more exposure Martin gets, the more likely he is to become the main man behind the plate for he is developing very quickly in learning to play the position. He certainly excels in an area where Los Angeles has been lacking- throwing out runners. He exchanges the ball quickly, gets rid of it in a hurry and throws lazer shots to the base.

Remember, he only has been playing this position since his second professional year in 2003 after having been drafted in the 19th round as a junior college infielder the previous summer.

He's been high on the learrning curve since, becoming adept at blocking balls in the dirt, something he was weak on before. He handles pitchers very well, calls an intelligent game and takes charge on the field. He shifts his body quickly.

He concentrated on becoming a good receiver so much that his batting suffered in 2004 but he settled down more at the plate with a good, compact stroke in 2005 and the result was a .311 average at Jacksonville.

He's yet to show real power but has the body and ability to hit home runs in double figures up above.

Martin is currently working with Team Canada preparing for the upcoming World Classic for he's slated to be the starting catcher. However, he faces a decision in that regard.

If he gets vibes that he has a real chance to beat out Navarro for the starting assignment, he may skip the Classic so he can be in camp to compete on an even field.

If he feels Las Vegas is his destiny at least at the begnning, he'll stick with his countrymen and report late. Then, it will be Vegas to further hone his game.

#5 -- LHP Scott Elbert

#6 -- OF Matt Kemp
#7 -- 1B James Loney
#8 -- 3B Bill DeWitt
# 9 -- RHP Jonathan Broxton
#10 -- LHP Greg Miller

#11 -- LHP Justin Orenduff
#12 -- LHP Hong-Chih Kuo
#13 -- 2B Tony Abreu
#14 -- OF Andre Ethier
#15 -- 2B-OF D.Y. Young

#16 -- SS Chin-Lung Hu
#17 -- 2B-3B Willie Aybar
#18 -- RHP Blake Johnson
#19 -- LHP Tim Hamulak
#20 -- RHP Frankelis Osoria

#21 -- RHP Jose Diaz
#22 -- 1B Cory Dunlap
#23 -- 2B Travis Denker
#24 -- LHP Derek Thompson
#25 -- SS Ivan DeJesus

#26 -- OF John Raglani
#27 -- LHP Ryan Ketchner
#28 -- OF Justin Ruggiano
#29 -- OF Jamie Hoffman
#30 -- RHP Chris Malone

#31 -- OF Cody Ross
#32 -- RHP Josh Wall
#33 -- SS Juan Rivera
#34 -- RHP Steve Johnson
#35 -- SS Scott Van Slyke

#36 -- OF John Melon
#37 -- LHP Brent Leach
#38 -- RHP Jesus Castillo
#39 -- LHP Eric Stults
#40 -- OF Xavier Paul

#41 -- LHP Miguel Sanfler
#42 -- 3B Josh Bell
#43 -- RHP Jordan Pratt
#44 -- OF Sergio Pedroza
#45 -- RHP Julio Pimentel

#46 -- 1b-1B Eduardo Perez
#47 -- RHP James McDonald
#48 -- OF Brian Myrow
#49 -- LHP Danny Muegge
#50 -- RHP Miguel Ramirez

#51 -- OF Ryan Carter
#52 -- RHP Casey Hoorelbeke
#53 -- OF Trayvon Robinson
#54 -- RHP Ramon Troncoso