Top 50 Prospects: #22 - Shairon Martis

From the small Caribbean nation of Curacao comes Shairon Martis, who with a mid-90's fastball and a curveball, helped to dominate the Arizona Rookie League.

Date of Birth: 03/30/1987 Position: P Height: 6'1" Weight: 175 Bats: R Throws: R
Acquired: Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2004
2005 Stats
AZL Giants - R 2 1 1.85 11 5 1 34.0 28 10 7 1 9 50 .226 1.18

For those who have wondered about what has been going on with the Giants scouting in Latin America, the Arizona Rookie League had many answers (from 9 different countries), and the best one was Shairon Martis.

Martis, like his SS teammate Sharlon Schoop, is from Curacao, which is known much more for it’s climate, beaches, and fine liqueur than its baseball. But even with a population of 170,000, Curacao’s Senior Little League team won the SLLWS in 2002 and appeared again in 2003. which was Martis’ first exposure to America. He impressed there, throwing a 5 hit complete game shutout (6 innings due to the mercy rule), striking out 7 with a fastball that was already in the low 90’s. Martis also pitched in the 2003 semifinal game when Curacao was knocked off by the Hilo, Hawaii team, where he allowed just 3 hits, but the defense behind him had 4 errors.

The Giants promptly signed him, and as a 17 year old, he played in the Domincan summer league in 2004, where he put up a 1.79 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 17 walks in 70 IP. That was strong enough to get him to Arizona as an 18 year old. Martis responded by using his mid-nineties fastball and surprisingly advanced curveball to lead the Arizona Rookie League pitchers (min. 30 IP) in strikeout rate with 13.2 per 9 innings.

It appears that the sky is the limit for this young prospect. Although his fastball isn’t as strong as teammate Waldis Joaquin’s is, the ability Martis already has with his curveball gives him a slightly more advanced feel and a better chance to stay a starter as he advances. He also continues to work on his changeup, which gives him a good selection of pitches as he vies for a spot a full season team in 2006.

Although the Giants sometimes keep younger pitchers back and keep them in extended spring training and then putting them in the Short-Season Northwest League, Martis has the best chance of the youngsters from the AZL to make it to Augusta of the South Atlantic League to start the 2006 season. If he does, he’ll give the Greenjackets a chance to have back-to-back strikeout kings, after Jonathan Sanchez won the SAL K title in ’05.

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