Blue Jays: MLB Pipeline tabs infielder as team's top power prospect
MLB Pipeline recently released a list of the top power hitters in each minor league farm system. To fans that have been paying attention, the Toronto Blue Jays' entry shouldn't come as a big surprise.
After a monstrous 2022 season, Orelvis Martinez heads into 2023 ranked as the team's fourth overall prospect by MLB Pipeline and as the team's top power-hitting prospect, as decided by the list's authors Jim Callis, Sam Dykstra and Jonathan Mayo.
Playing in Double-A as a 20-year-old, Martinez set a new home run record with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, hitting 30 round-trippers in 118 games. Per Callis, Dykstra and Mayo, his ".242 isolated slugging percentage was the sixth-highest among 120 Double-A qualifiers."
Martinez showed off his serious power in a recent Grapefruit League game, crushing his first home run of the spring in a romp over the Philadephia Phillies. With a 104.6 mph exit velocity and a 35-degree launch angle, the moonshot easily cleared the left-center field fence.
While there's no doubt about Martinez's power, questions remain about his approach and discipline at the plate. He posted an impressive .446 slugging percentage on his way to the record-setting 30 homers last year but struggled to raise his average (.203) and on-base percentage (.286).
The talented shortstop/third baseman has recorded high strikeout rates at every level of the minors and racked up 140 strikeouts last season. He is still young, however, and has time to learn how to hit at higher levels.
Now 21, Martinez will likely head to Triple-A Buffalo to begin the 2023 season. As previously discussed in his 2023 season preview, this will be a good test to see how he handles more advanced pitching.
He's already on the 40-man roster, so if he can show a more mature approach at the plate, there's a chance he may get a taste of the big leagues later in the year.