Blue Jays: One prospect who should be deemed untouchable for trades
Earlier this season, I wrote an article on three Blue Jays prospects who should not be traded this year as the organization looks to shore up some weaker areas on the roster for another postseason push.
While the common analogy amongst fans is that “no player is untouchable” when it comes to trades (i.e. everyone has a price), there is one more prospect teams may be asking the Blue Jays for in potential deals before the deadline, one that Ross Atkins should avoid dealing at all costs.
Signed by the Blue Jays during the 2018 international free agent period, infielder Orelvis Martinez is ranked #6 in the organization’s top prospect list and is currently playing with Dunedin Blue Jays in Low-A.
As the trade deadline looms near, the Blue Jays should consider holding on to Orelvis Martinez, a top prospect that opposing teams will most likely be inquiring for in any potential deals.
With the minor league season wiped out last year, Martinez has only played rookie ball (2019) prior to the 2021 campaign. He currently owns a .285/.367/.567 slash line with 22 home runs, 88 RBI, and a .934 OPS through 432 career plate appearances in the minor leagues (through both rookie and A ball). His power was on display Saturday against the Clearwater Threshers, where he smacked three home runs and drove in nine, going 4-6 on the night.
At 19 years old, Martinez is known for his raw power in the batter’s box and his athletic ability, making him the ideal candidate to stay on the left side of the diamond. He has a clean approach at the plate with a repeatable swing that gives him the ability to hit across the diamond but also over the outfield wall on any mistake pitches. He will need to reel in the strikeout as he progresses through the farm system but that is something the Blue Jays can work on as he continues to develop through the minor leagues.
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The Dominican product possesses plus arm speed, making him the ideal shortstop given the defensive ability, but could be moved to third base if the arm is capable of making the throw across the diamond with regularity. He has played at third 12 times this season but has seen an increase in errors (six) when compared to playing shortstop (eight but in 36 games).
There is a good chance that Ross Atkins is reaching out and looking to improve the active roster right now, with the focus primarily being on adding arms to the bullpen and maybe a quality starting pitcher and a third baseman if the opportunity arises. Martinez will most likely be a sought-after commodity as a return for any potential deals, and one that I think Atkins should avoid including at all costs.
Playing against pitchers and opponents who are two-three years older than him since turning pro, Martinez has always found a way to get on base and has such raw power at a young age, one that seems like it hasn’t even fully developed yet (which is a scary but good thought). Martinez seems to fit the mold of an everyday type of player and is already drawing comparisons to countryman Adrian Beltre, a future Hall of Famer. He is currently estimated to reach the major leagues in 2023.
I understand that no prospect should be deemed “untouchable” when it comes to deadline deals, and if a spectacular trade comes across and the opposing team won’t do it without Martinez being involved then I am sure he will get dealt.
This young man has a lot of potential to be a major league everyday type of player and trading him away now before he really grows and develops not only in the minor leagues but also into his 6’1″ frame seems like it may be too soon, and one the Blue Jays will regret in the future.