Orelvis Martinez (No. 3 Prospect)
Finally, we have one of the Jays’ best positional prospects in the organization in Orelvis Martinez. Martinez had an unorthodox season in 2023 that saw him going from one of the worst hitters in the minors to a huge breakout year in the end.
When he began the season in Double-A New Hampshire, he had a disastrous April in which he hit below .100 while being an “all-or-nothing” player at the plate. Either he was going to be an out, or he would hit a home run in the rare occasions when he connected. Somehow, he managed to turn his season completely around with the right adjustments. In doing so, what was once thought was going to be a tremendous regression year for Martinez became a prosperous one instead. Things progressed so well that he even earned a promotion to Triple-A Buffalo near the end of the season. Overall for his 2023 minor league year, Martinez finished with a decent .243 average and an .835 OPS, along with 70 runs scored, 25 doubles, 28 home runs, 94 RBI and a career-best 67 walks in 125 games played. His bat is no doubt MLB-ready, equipped with huge power and run production potential.
With Turner’s signing, it appears less likely that we will be seeing a Jays’ reunion with Matt Chapman now. That being said, Turner does not appear to be a wise choice to deploy at third base for this coming season, considering his huge regression in defence on the field. Just last season, he committed 3 errors on just 19 chances along with a -3 DRS in just seven games played at the hot corner, and certainly he isn’t getting any younger at age 39. In addition, the proposition of the committee usage of Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Cavan Biggio and Santiago Espinal at third seems risky, as the Jays would get solid defence, but they would be lucky if the three could even provide half the offensive output that Chapman provided from the position.
As a result, Martinez will be motivated to perform well this spring to convince the Jays he instead could be a viable internal option at the hot corner to help solidly fill the role for the 2024 season. With the Jays needing as many potent bats in the lineup as possible after their struggles in 2023, Martinez’s arrival time in the MLB may actually come sooner than expected.