Name: Nolan Martinez
DOB: June 30, 1998
Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup.
Fastball. What makes Martinez so intriguing is his combination of already possessing a low-90s fastball and yet his still rather thin but projectable frame, leading many to believe there is some considerable velocity left to be tapped once he starts filling out and maturing physically over the coming years. It already sits a solid 91-92 mph with decent movement, the kind of movement that could be ideal once he and the Yankees begin working on a two-seam fastball down the road. And at 6-foot-2 and just 175 pounds there is a lot of room to get stronger too so the now borderline above average pitch velocity-wise has long-term plus potential if everything breaks right. His fastball command though is really only at its infancy stage, however.
Other Pitches. He enters professional baseball with an advanced breaking ball. In fact, an above average pitch already, it's the best pitch in Martinez's arsenal right now. Sitting mostly in the high-70/low-80s, it shows excellent late-biting diving action in true 12-to-6 fashion and it serves as his primary strikeout pitch. A bit more command of it over the ensuing years could make it a legitimate long-term plus pitch. The same could be said about his changeup long-term too given that it also is an advanced pitch for somebody coming out of high school. It shows fade, it shows depth, and the arm speed is nearly ideal. It's already a big league pitch and that is rare for a teenage pitching prospect. Both are pitches he can throw for strikes better than most his age but he doesn't show command of either pitch yet.
Pitching. Martinez is so new to pitching at the professional level that there really is no defined pitching style yet. That can be both a good and a bad thing, mostly the former. He is a hard-working kid who soaks up information like a sponge and it's because of that high makeup that many team insiders are ecstatic to combine that with his physical promise. He's a bit more athletic than most leaner guys too, showing a bit more coordination, and that should lend itself to better mechanics as he continues to receive professional coaching. Of course gaining some more weight on a still very slender frame would only aid that cause as well. Given his strong work ethic though, few question his ability to hit the gym hard over the upcoming years and become a more physical presence on the mound. He has the stuff to mix up pitches and speeds, the question is whether his delivery will eventually lead to command as well and that's a wait and see proposition at this point.
Projection. Martinez is not short on stuff right now and he's really only beginning his professional career, not to mention gaining his man strength too. That is the kind of recipe that scouts drool over, somebody with now stuff but yet have considerable room for improvement too. Stuff-wise Martinez already projects to eventually slide in somewhere in a big league starting rotation someday given the presence of three big league pitches already, all three of which could theoretically be plus pitches in due time too. There are two big unknowns, however; how far will the stuff go and how much command will be developed too. The latter is extremely important in particular in profiling a pitcher's eventual placement on a pitching staff and it makes projecting him at this particular point extremely difficult. More than anything he needs to hit the gym hard to not only get stronger but increase his stamina and to get as many innings under his belt as possible to further refine his mechanics and develop his command. As good as the stuff is right now, there is still a lot of work to be done.
ETA. N/A. Adding short-season Pulaski a couple of years ago to the Yankees farm system was done for players just like Martinez, guys with advanced stuff too good for the lowest minor league levels.but yet needed some more development time against a bit more advanced competition too. He is going to benefit greatly from experiencing coaching at Extended Spring Training in the first half of the 2017 season and seems like a rock-solid bet to help anchor the Pulaski staff once the short-season leagues open up.