Blue Jays: Orelvis Martinez Primed For Breakout MiLB Season
Orelvis Martinez is one of the more underrated prospects in the Blue Jays’ system. The Jays’ 6th ranked prospect on MLB Pipeline does not receive the same media attention that other farm hens such as Nate Pearson, Austin Martin and Alek Manoah do, and quite frankly, I don’t understand why.
The Dominican native may have the highest ceiling in the Jays’ system, thanks to his advanced bat to ball skills and raw power that have led scouts to compare him to future Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre. Martinez was born to hit. After signing with the Jays back in 2018 for the largest bonus since Vladimir Guerrero Jr., all he’s done is wreak havoc on opposing pitching staff.
If he continues to do so, the power hitting infielder has the chance to not only become one of the more highly regarded prospects in the Jays’ system, but one of the elite prospects in all of baseball. Martinez made his pro debut back in 2019 at just 17 years of age. Despite being so young, he managed to hit an impressive .275, while mashing seven long balls in just 40 games in the Gulf Coast League. He did this while playing against competition that was nearly three years older than him on average, which makes these already impressive numbers even more eye popping.
Martinez entered 2020 looking primed for another big season that would put him on every top prospect list in baseball and on the fast track to the big leagues. Unfortunately, this did not materialize thanks to COVID-19, and like so many other minor leaguers, Martinez went more than a year without playing an actual game of baseball.
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Despite losing a year of development and being only 19 years of age, Blue Jays’ management still wanted to invite Martinez to big league camp this spring, so they could see how he’d handle facing more advanced pitching. Most analysts didn’t expect to see much from the power hitting infielder. They thought he would use the time in camp to get his timing back at the dish, and really just try to get back up to game speed.
Martinez had other plans, and was able to use his time in Dunedin as a chance to showcase his abilities to the fans, media and management of this team. Though he didn’t get the quantity of reps other players may have gotten, Martinez impressed when given the opportunity to play, posting a .364 average, and an OPS north of 1.000. He capped off his spring with bang on Monday, going 2-3 with a double and a home run that came off the bat at 107.7mph, traveling 415 feet.
After what he’s shown this spring, it looks like Martinez didn’t miss a beat last year, and may have actually benefited from playing at the alternate site where he faced older arms such as Julian Merryweather, Patrick Murphy and others, instead of facing pitchers closer to his age in the minors.
This was displayed all spring, but mainly in Martinez’s last at bat against Hector Neris, who has 333.1 big league innings under his belt. Despite the gap in experience, the young righty had no trouble barreling up a slider from Neris, sending it over the bullpen in left field. All the work that Martinez has done against older and more experienced arms should do nothing but help him as he heads back to the lower levels of the minors, where he has the potential to do serious damage this season.
I listed Martinez as my prospect to watch in my Analysis of Pipelines Top 30 Prospect article that I wrote a few weeks ago. After seeing the finish that Martinez had to his spring, I’m even more confident in the statement that I made about him, as his play on the field has shown that he’s primed to have a monster year and is definitely a prospect worth keeping a close eye on.
The raw talent that Martinez possesses, combined with his experience against higher level pitching, puts him in a position to have a Vladdy-esque season. This is definitely high expectations for a player, as Vladdy had some of the best seasons in MiLB history back in 2017 and 18. With what I have seen from Martinez during the spring and the tools he has already displayed in the minors, I am confident that he can put together a monster season in 2021, and even reach the heights that Guerrero Jr did.
I’m super excited to see what Martinez can do with a full season of minor league ball this year. With the tools he possesses, the sky’s the limit for the kid from the Dominican Republic.