During the 2018 international signing period, the Blue Jays spent $3.5 million on signing 16-year-old infielder Orelvis Martinez from the Dominican Republic. He currently sits on the Blue Jays top prospect list at #7.
The Toronto Blue Jays had spent the better part of two years scouting the shortstop/third baseman, with comparisons to Adrian Beltre befitting the 6’1 right hander.
The 2019 season was Martinez’s first taste of professional baseball, where he played in 40 games at third base, shortstop, and also as the designated hitter for the Gulf Coast Blue Jays in the Rookie league. He would finish the season with an impressive slash line of .275/.352/.549, as well as crushing seven home runs, 32 RBI’s and 14 walks. He would also strikeout 29 times in 143 at-bats, but also impressed with his ability to hit for extra bases, smacking eight doubles and five triples throughout the season.
The Toronto Blue Jays love the fluidness in Martinez’s swing, and his ability to put the barrel on the ball is on display with his .549 slugging percentage. He turns 18 in just a few days, and still has lots of time to grow into his large frame. This may force him away from shortstop, as scouts are predicting to happen, and third base may be his position moving forward. The hope is that he does not lose his range of motion or speed with this growth, but that is still yet to be determined obviously.
The position movement wouldn’t really be an issue, as he already has time spent on the hot corner but also possess a strong arm to throw quickly across the diamond. His fielding percentage was a bit rough at .889% for the 11 games he played at third base this past season, but the key phrase for Martinez is “room to grow”. His bat will keep him in the lineup, he just needs to fine tune his defensive skills to become a more rounded player in hopes of making the major league stage.
Kind of reminds you of another infield Blue Jays prospect?