Blue Jays: MLB Pipeline expects big things from Orelvis Martinez
Despite the fact that the Blue Jays have graduated some elite prospects in the last couple of years, there is more talent on the way, such as Orelvis Martinez.
You would think that the Blue Jays would be dropping pretty quickly when it comes to the ranking of their farm system, especially after all of the talent they’ve graduated in the last year or so. When you add up the contributions of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Danny Jansen, and more, that’s a lot of firepower to leave the minor league system.
And yet, the Blue Jays are still widely considered to have above average talent in their minor league pipeline. Part of that is due to the presence of top-10 prospect Nate Pearson, but the talent doesn’t stop there. And there’s a good chance it’ll continue to come in waves.
MLB Pipeline published an article yesterday that talked about the top prospects we could be monitoring by 2022, and named one potential star from each team. For the Blue Jays, another international signing has a real chance to be a MLB superstar, however, he’s going to need a few years of development before he’ll be ready to make that leap. That said, don’t be shocked if the Blue Jays have another 20 year old making their MLB debut by 2022 in Orelvis Martinez.
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When he was just 16 years old, the Blue Jays were so high on Martinez’s future that they signed him as an international free agent in 2018, and gave him the second biggest bonus in franchise history at 3.5 million dollars, trailing only the 3.9 million Vlad Jr. signed for in 2015. They relentlessly scouted the Dominican infielder and believe that he has the talent to be a cornerstone of the lineup once he’s ready for the highest level.
Martinez backed up their faith in 2019 as a 17 year old, slashing .275/.352/.549 with seven home runs, eight doubles, and 32 RBI across 142 at-bats with Bluefield at the rookie level. He split time between shortstop and third base last season, and the Blue Jays will monitor how best to develop him as he continues to grow into his frame. His hitting is certainly more developed at this stage, but again, we have to remember that he was playing professional baseball as a 17 year old and give him a little bit of slack for his defence.
Getting back to MLB Pipeline’s review, they pretty much had the same thing to say about Martinez:
"“The teenager stands out the most for his bat, with the potential to hit for both average and power, but he’s also an excellent athlete who could develop across-the-board tools.”"
That last part is what makes Martinez so exciting. There’s little doubt that he’s going to become a capable hitter, but he has the type of talent to be a well-rounded asset, which is obviously what the Blue Jays will be hoping for. It’s hard to say if he’ll remain as a shortstop, but at this young age, it makes total sense that he would continue to be developed at the position, at least for now.
And when that day comes, it’ll be very interesting to see how the rest of the Blue Jays infield is made up. As things stand, Vlad Jr. and Bichette occupy third base and shortstop respectively, and Cavan Biggio is also at second base. Even if Guerrero Jr. is moved to first base by then, Martinez will still have to keep up with Jordan Groshans on the infield depth chart as well, who is currently ranked as the #2 prospect in the Blue Jays’ system, and is a little more advanced.
For what it’s worth, here at Jays Journal we have Martinez slated for a MLB arrival sometime in 2023, but that’s obviously just speculation. We’ll see what the next couple of years brings for Martinez and for the Blue Jays, but it’s pretty encouraging to see him already popping up on the minor league radar.