Blue Jays prospect is putting together an offensive season like we've never seen before

Toronto Blue Jays v Philadelphia Phillies
Toronto Blue Jays v Philadelphia Phillies / Mark Brown/GettyImages

Hope has been high ever since Orelvis Martinez was signed as an international talent in 2018. He is currently ranked as the fourth-best prospect in the farm system, at one point being as high as second.

Martinez is equally capable of playing as a third baseman or at shortstop. The former is theoretically the more likely path due to the presence of Bo Bichette at shortstop. (Although you never know, given Bichette becoming an increasing defensive liability.)

First things first though, the 21-year-old needs to iron out some issues of his own, albeit on offense rather than defense. He is currently having a season in Double-A New Hampshire like we've never seen before.

All or nothing

If you take just a cursory glance, certain numbers look very impressive. As of May 15, Martinez leads the Fisher Cats with nine home runs and 25 RBI, which are both also second-most in the Eastern League.

Projected over the course of a season -- Martinez has played 27 of a possible 32 games to date -- he would comfortably set new personal single season-highs in the minor league system.

When you take a bit more time to review matters, however, it isn't as impressive as first thought. Despite the fancy scoring numbers, the right-handed bat is struggling this year.

Look no further than Martinez's slash line of .143/.211/.449 for evidence of this, to go along with a .660 OPS. Combined with a strike-out rate of 28.6 percent, he brings to mind the likes of Joey Gallo and the retired Mark Reynolds as an all-or-nothing type of hitter.

Martinez had similar returns last year in Double-A, hitting a career-high 30 home runs to go along with 76 RBI. This was compromised however, by a .203/.286/.446 slash line and .732 OPS, together with a 32.3 percent strikeout rate.

Pure and simple, Martinez has actually regressed and needs to find a way to hit the baseball on a more consistent basis. If not, he may struggle to even get an opportunity at the Triple-A level in Buffalo as things stand.

The potential remains

Don't expect the Blue Jays to give up on Martinez any time soon though. He's still the same talent deemed worthy of a $3.5 million deal which, as per Jesse Sanchez of, was the highest bonus given to an international prospect in the 2017-2018 class.

At the time, scouting had the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic native as having a chance to be an above-average hitter with above-average power. To date, this has only been proved half-correct.

In respect of needing to show more consistency with the bat, consider Martinez's time earlier this year in big league camp. He hit .267 in Grapefruit league action, to go along with two homers and six RBI.

Admittedly though, going 4-for-15 only represents a small sample size. We appreciate even this alludes to the question of if Martinez can produce more consistently over a longer period of time.

Heading into this season, Martinez was projected to arrive in the majors at some point next year. It might be worth revising this projection however, with patience being the key word as the Blue Jays work on improving his mechanics with the bat.