Scouting Phils Prospect #4: Ethan Martin

When the Phillies sent up the white flag last July, one of the moves was to send Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The player they targeted was right-hander Ethan Martin, who comes to the Phillies with a strong upside.

Ethan Martin

Position: Starting Pitcher
Bats/Throws: Right / Right
Birthday/Age: June 6, 1989 (23)
Ht/Wt: 6' 2", 195 pounds

How he became a Phillie: Acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 31, 2012 along with pitcher Josh Lindblom and a player to be named later (Stefan Jarrin) for outfielder Shane Victorino.

Repertoire: Martin has two high quality pitches, with a fastball that sits in the low-to-mid 90s and a hard curve that was thought by many to be the best in the Dodgers organization at the time the Phillies acquired him. Both pitches are strikeout pitches for Martin, the curve because it's one of those falls off the table type curves and the fastball because of the late movement that he gets on the pitch. To go with his top two pitches, Martin  has a decent, but not terrific change-up that keeps hitters honest, especially since his other two pitches are generally those heavy type pitches.

Ethan Martin's league comparison

STATS Southern League Averages Martin's SL averages
ERA 3.84 3.58
WHIP 1.4 1.3
H/9 IP 8.5 6.8
HR/9 IP 0.7 0.4
BB/9 IP 3.8 4.7
K/9 IP 7.5 8.5
K/BB 2.0 1.8
GIDP/9 IP 0.7 0.6
Ethan Martin made just seven starts for AA Reading in the Eastern League, so his stats from his 20 starts at AA Chattanooga in the Southern League were used for his comparson.

Scouting Report: At the time of the 2008 Draft, Martin was thought to be the best high school pitcher available and the Dodgers took him in the first round with the 15th overall pick and handed him $1.73 million. While Martin hasn't truly lived up to the hype that he generated pre-draft, he's showing some real promise and the Dodgers didn't give up on him, but they needed Victorino badly for the pennant stretch and had to include him to make the deal work.

The biggest issue with Martin is getting his command issues straightened out. In four minor league seasons, he's averaged 5.5 walks per nine innings, but his season average for 2012 was one lower at 4.5 walks per nine. At least when he misses, it's generally in and out and not up in the zone where his pitches could be hit a long way. Martin has allowed just 0.6 home runs per nine innings over his career.

It's worth noting that many key stats are getting better as Martin progresses up the minor league ladder. Some new faces working with him in the Phillies organization might be able to truly harness his talent and get him to the point where he can put everything together.

Ceiling: Once he gets his control and consistency down, Martin figures to be able to become a very strong prospect and could eventually work as a number-two type starter in the majors. It would also help if he could get a tick more velocity and movement on his fastball and separate the velocity in his change and fastball a little more. Without those improvements, he's lower in the rotation, but he's showing signs of making himself into a better pitcher and he's the type of player that isn't afraid of some hard work to make it happen.

ETA: Last season was Martin's first full season at Double-A and the Phillies have a lot of pitchers that they're going to have to sort out between Triple-A and Double-A. Worst case scenario is that Martin opens the season at Reading and moves to Triple-A Lehigh Valley later in the season, but the Phillies would like to fit him into the Lehigh Valley rotation right from opening day. He needs at least one more season in the minors and probably a little more. Next year at this time, he'll likely be where Adam Morgan is this season and should be looking to insert himself into the Phillies rotation in 2015.

Ethan Martin's career stats

2009Great Lakes (A)683.872719100.0855543461120
2010Inland Empire (High-A)9146.352522113.112084801081105
2011Rancho Cucamonga (High-A)447.3616955.065484583761
2011Chattanooga (AA)534.0221340.131211832943
2011combined stats975.95371295.19669631166104
2012Chattanooga (AA)863.582020118.0894847561112
2012Reading (AA)503.187739.229151431835
2012combined stats1363.482727157.21186361879147
4 Seasons37354.7711680466.141927124733287476
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 3/24/2013.

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