Jays From the Couch Will Review Seasons Of Many, Hopefully, Most, Of The Toronto Blue Jays Prospects. Not Just The Top Prospects.
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I wasn’t going to tackle Orelvis Martinez right now but with Baseball America naming him the Blue Jays Minor League Player of the Year, I thought it was appropriate timing.
Originally signed out of Santo Domingo, D.R. on July 4th, 2018 for $3.5M, Martinez was described as having easy power with good bat speed and leverage. He made his professional debut in 2019 as a member of the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays. In 40 games, the 18-yr-old hammered 7 home runs, including 8 doubles and 5 triples for a .275ISO. Martinez slashed .275/.352/.549 while posting .414wOBA and 150wRC+.
In 2021, the 19-yr-old started the season with the Dunedin Blue Jays. Martinez played 71 games with the D-Jays before earning a promotion to the High-A West League to join the Vancouver Canadians. Martinez finished the season with the C’s.
In May, Orelvis Martinez went 24-for-102, batting .264 with 6 doubles and 3HR in 22GP. He scored 13 runs and drove in 12 with 10 walks and 24 strikeouts. He also swiped 2 bases.
Despite seeing his OPS rise from .772 to .802, Orelvis finished June with a lower batting average (.247) then May. His OBP fell to .330 and his slugging percent increased to .472 from .429. In 22GP he collected 7 doubles, 2 triples, and 3 home runs while driving in 23RBI and scoring 14.
The talented SS went off in July. He had nine multi-hit games and three 4-hit games over a four-game span. He finished the month with a .313BA and 1.218OPS. After hitting 6HR over the first 44 games, Martinez hit 13 balls over the fence in 26 games, driving in 31 runs. He also collected 9 doubles. The MiLB recognized Martinez with two Low-A Southeast Offensive Player of the Week awards and a Low-A Southeast Player of the Month award.
Orelvis Martinez was promoted, joining the Vancouver Canadians on August 2nd. He debuted on August 3rd, homering in his 1st game. He homered 7 times in August at his new level; however, he struggled to a .220/.275/.470 line. This doesn’t tell the entire story. He finished the month with hits in his final 6 games, including home runs in the final two games of the month.
Martinez only played two games in September, going 2-for-12 with home runs accounting for both hits. He finished the season on the IL.
At the End Of the Day
In 283 at-bats, the right-handed hitting infielder finished with a .279BA and .293ISO. He produced well above the league average with an excellent .424wOBA and 149wRC+. His 10.1BB% was respectable and his 26.1K% was acceptable for a hitter with such high power potential. He finished his Dunedin career with 22 doubles, 2 triples, and 19HR while driving 68 runs and scoring 49 runs.
In 27 games, Orelvis Martinez batted just .214 with a .277ISO. His offensive production was slightly above league average at .332wOBA and a league-average 99wRC+. His BB% dipped to 8.0 but his K% also dropped to 22.4%. Maybe some bad luck was responsible for his struggles (.197BABIP) but it’s likely a 19-yr-old adjusting to a higher level of competition.
He finished with 4 doubles, 9HR, 17 runs scored, and 19RBI.
July 17th was without a doubt Orelvis Martinez’s best game and maybe the turning point in his season. After going 4-for-5 with two solo HR on July 14th, O went 4-for-5 with two doubles and a HR on July 16th. On July 17th, Orelvis once again collected 4 hits, going 4-for-6 with three home runs for 13 total bases. He drove in a career-high 9 runs, scoring 4.
Prior to this stretch of 4-hit games, Orelvis Martinez owned a .262 batting average. After going 12-for-19 over a 4-game span, Martinez owned a .292 batting average.
LHP vs RHP
Orelvis Martinez struggled mightly against LHP, batting just .184 while batting .279 against RHP. Martinez collected 3 doubles and 4HR against LHP while posting a .300OBP and .382SLG. Against RHP, O hit 23 doubles, two triples, and 24HR with a .357OBP and .589SLG.
Clutch or No
With the bases empty, Martinez batted .256 with a .915OPS. He hit 10 solo HR. With the bases loaded, Martinez .357 with a .857OPS but no HR. With RISP, Orelvis batted .300 with a .977OPS, 10 doubles, and 7HR.
With 2-outs and RISP, the young SS batted an impressive .338 with a 1.073OPS, collecting 11 doubles and 4HR for 34RBI.
In the Field
It is expected that Orelvis Martinez will outgrow SS and eventually shift over 3rd base. In 2021, O-Mart played 65 games at SS, committing 20 errors. He played 18 games at 3rd where he committed an additional 6 errors.
Where will Orelvis Martinez begin 2022? I believe the organization hopes to start him at Double-A but will wait to see how he does with his offseason routine. The Blue Jays can afford to return Martinez to Vancouver to start the 2022, as he isn’t Rule 5 Eligible until December ’22.
At AA, Martinez will need to compete with Jordan Groshans if he is still at this level. It is more likely that Orelvis will be relieved at SS by Luis De Los Santos who would be making his AA debut.
I’d like to see the organization make a decision on where Martinez will play in ’22. If he projects as a power-hitting 3rd baseman, then play him there. But I understand that power-hitting shortstops hold a higher premium than 3rd baseman.
It is my opinion that successful organizations find a way to acquire talent without including their top-tier prospects. Martinez should be included in this top tier. Many of you will state that Martinez is far from a sure thing and that using him to acquire talent at the major league level is a necessity if the Front Office hopes to capitalize on the Vladdy and Bo window. While I know you’d be right, I still think you’d be wrong. 😉
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Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn’t cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I’m more right.