Toronto Blue Jays: Projecting Orelvis Martinez’s Future
By Evan Gignac
If you’ve kept up with the Blue Jays’ Spring Training thus far, then you’ve likely heard of Orelvis Martinez.
Up to this point he’s received a fair share of playing time and has seen some success, even blasting a no doubt homer off of Phillies All-Star, Aaron Nola. Martinez has been a bit of a sleeper as far as prospects are concerned in recent years. He was listed outside of MLB.com’s Top 100 as recently as 2020, before rising to 43 on last year’s list.
Look at the most recent rankings and you’ll find the young infielder five spots higher, ranking as the 38th best prospect in Major League Baseball.
The 20 year old infielder was signed out of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic back in 2018. A look at his Baseball Reference page will show that Martinez has exhibited an ability to both draw his walks and hit for power since he started playing professionally. Since playing Rookie Ball as a 17 year old, he’s gathered a .896 OPS over two minor league seasons. This number, paired with a 28 home run season last year through both levels of A-ball, paints a picture of what we could expect from Orelvis Martinez as a future Major Leaguer.
Martinez is most likely due to start 2022 in AA New Hampshire. I’d imagine he sees time at both shortstop and third base, and possibly a promotion to AAA as the season goes on. This is assuming of course that he stays with Toronto through the season. Martinez has been a prominent name in trade talks throughout the winter. Fans of the Jays have been pondering if the multi-tooled prospect is worth including in a trade package, possibly for someone like Jose Ramirez. While he is a valuable trade chip, reporters like Jon Morosi consider him to be virtually untouchable in trade talks.
If he’s untouchable, then where do we go from here? Bo Bichette is stationed at shortstop for at least the next four years. If short isn’t an option, Orelvis has experience at third base, and has gotten looks there so far this spring. The hot corner belongs to Matt Chapman for the time being, and rightfully so. However, Spotrac shows he has two years remaining on his current contract, making him a free agent after 2023. Orelvis will be 22 by then, and will have hopefully continued his dramatically successful development. He’s already received high praise from stars like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Teoscar Hernandez, and the hope is he’ll be hitting in the same Major League lineup before too long.
The second best prospect in Toronto’s system certainly has a future with this organization. He is in a position to be relied upon to take over a cornerstone infield position in the coming years. Looking at Martinez’s minor league success, as well as his confidence and poise in Major League Spring training, he appears up to the task. Keep your eyes on this one.