Blue Jays: Orelvis Martinez shows us why he shouldn’t be traded
It didn’t take long for Orelvis Martinez to show Blue Jays fans why the team shouldn’t even think about trading him ahead of Opening Day.
The 20 year old phenom drew a spring start on Saturday and had the pleasure of squaring off against Aaron Nola, one of the top pitchers in the National League. Granted, it was Nola’s first spring outing and we can’t take too much away from Saturday’s game, but the ace right-hander looked pretty good other than the two solo home runs he surrendered over his two innings of work. One was against none other than Vladimir Guerrero Jr., which comes as no surprise, and the second came from Orelvis Martinez.
The Domincan-born slugger showed off his power in 2021 while playing across two levels, hitting 19 home runs, 22 doubles, and 68 RBI over 71 games in Low-A, and then adding nine more home runs, four more doubles, and 19 RBI over 27 games in High-A. This all came as a 19 year old who is still adjusting to pro ball, and he didn’t waste any time showing off his special talents.
As the #2 ranked prospect in the Blue Jays minor league organization, I can understand why a team like the Cleveland Guardians would insist he’s included in any trade discussion for a star like Jose Ramirez. That said, and I don’t say this very often about prospects, but I think it would be foolish to trade either of Martinez, or their top ranked prospect in Gabriel Moreno. I sincerely believe they have a pair of special talents in the organization, and keeping them around could be key to extending the championship contention window in Toronto.
In a perfect world, Martinez can spend the bulk of his 2022 season in Double-A, and then move on to Triple-A in 2023 before possibly making a late-season debut. That timeline works really well with what the Blue Jays currently have going on in their infield, as their new third baseman in Matt Chapman has two years left of contract control before he’ll be a free agent. It’s not quite that simple, but I’m sure the Blue Jays are penciling Martinez in at third after Chapman becomes a free agent, but of course, a lot can change in two years.
After Saturday’s game Vladimir Guerrero Jr. mentioned to the media that Martinez’s swing reminds him of his own, and I’d have to say that I agree. That’s a lot of pressure to put on Martinez’s future, and by no means am I suggesting that he’s the second-coming of Vlad Jr., but he could be a special talent to have around. Most prospects can be consider prospects until they aren’t, but I truly believe there are a few exceptions, and that Martinez fits the mold.
I know the Blue Jays are fully in “win-now” mode, and that might mean that they’ll push their chips in to acquire another star of Ramirez’s calibre. However, if that’s the case then I hope they can do it without having to give up Martinez. In my eyes he’s a future star, and given an opportunity against one of the best on Saturday, it was pretty exciting to see a glimpse of what’s to come.