Jays Journal continues our countdown of the top 30 Blue Jays prospects of 2020. The #8 spot goes to shortstop Orelvis Martinez.
Name: Orelvis Martinez
Position: SS/3B Age: 18
Height: 6’1” Weight: 188 lbs
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent in July 2018
2019 Organization Level: Rookie – GCL Blue Jays
One of the most exciting young prospects in the Blue Jays farm system, Orelvis Martinez has all of the tools to become a future impact player at the big-league level. This is exactly what the Blue Jays front office had in mind when they signed Martinez for $3.5 million as an international free agent in July 2018, making him the second highest paid prospect in his class.
As a good athlete with a balanced skill-set, Martinez is capable of providing solid defense at both shortstop and third base, although some scouts project him to be a better fit at third base in the long-run due to his large frame. This of course is not a bad thing at all, as it means there’s room for him to gain additional size and strength, which will only add to his already impressive raw power.
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Martinez has even been compared to a young Adrian Beltre, as they are both big, strong, hard-hitting infielders with strong arms who are well-suited for the hot corner. While the high-praise is certainly understandable given his unquestionable talent, at just 18 years old Martinez has a long way to go before he finds himself alongside Beltre in the Hall of Fame.
Martinez made a great first impression in his professional debut last season with the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays. At just 17 years old – approximately 2.5 years younger than the league average – Martinez slashed an impressive .275/.352/.549 with 20 extra-base hits over 40 games while splitting time between shortstop and third base.
While he possesses a strong all-around game, what has the Jays organization most excited about Martinez is the offensive side of his game. At only 18 years of age, Martinez has already displayed impressive in-game power after hitting seven home runs in 40 games during his first season of pro ball. This is exciting, as in-game power is often the last thing to come around for many young hitters.
Even more exciting is the fact that he has yet to fill out his large frame, suggesting that there could be even more power potential for Martinez to tap into down the road. Below is a clip of Martinez during one of his batting practice sessions back in 2018:
According to MLB Pipeline:
"“Combining a rhythmic swing with plus bat speed, he impacts the ball to the big parts of the field with authority.”"
MLB Pipeline gives Martinez an average hit grade of 50 with a slightly above average power grade of 55. While Martinez was given an average run grade of 50, his five triples in 40 games last season suggest that he has good top-end speed when circling the bases.
Martinez is capable of playing both shortstop and third base as he features good hands, a strong throwing arm and solid footwork. However, a lack of lateral quickness leaves some scouts to project a better fit at third base as he continues to fill out his large frame.
MLB Pipeline gives Martinez slightly above average grades of 55 for both his arm and fielding.
With an estimated arrival date of 2023, Martinez has a lot of developing left to do as he makes his way through the Jays farm system. That being said, the future looks very bright for Martinez as his five-tool profile gives him the potential to be a perennial all-star at either shortstop or third base.
With one of the highest offensive ceilings in the Blue Jays system, Martinez will generate a fair amount of his future value from his bat. Yet true to their blueprint of developing versatile, athletic young players, Martinez gives the Jays multiple ways of getting his potent bat into the lineup when that highly anticipated day finally arrives.