Blue Jays Nation’s 2023 Preseason Top 50: #4 Orelvis Martinez
Photo credit:© Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
1 month ago
Orelvis Martinez ranks as Blue Jays Nation’s 4th best prospect in our 2023 preseason list.
There were 37 players in Double-A that hit 20+ home runs. There were only six players under the age of 23 to do so, and none were as young as Orelvis Martinez.
In fact, his 30 home runs ranked him tied for second, behind 27-year-old Quincy Nieporte’s 31, and tied with 23-year-old Leandro Cedeño.
All of this is to say don’t give up on Orelvis, despite not hitting for a high average. However, let’s first look at the criteria.
Instead of writing this out every time I did for the mid-season Top 60, I’ll copy and paste my criteria for how I rank and scout these players.
There are many factors that determine a top prospect. The eye test is the biggest driver in determining a top prospect, but proximity to the majors, ceiling, and floor is also important. Moreover, statistics are another key ingredient, as everything works together to give you numbers.
As for the grades, it’s important to remember that they are relative to the league in which they play. A kid from Dunedin is not going to have a 50-grade hit tool if he were placed in the big leagues. But relative to the league in which he plays, a .300 hitter is eligible to have that grade.
For these prospects, I’ll be reviewing their background, numbers in the minors, pitch mix (if they’re a pitcher), and giving a scouting report (if feasible, rookie league guys are difficult).
Let’s jump in!
Orelvis Martinez‘s career so far:
The 21-year-old shortstop/third baseman was signed in the 2018 international free agency period from the Dominican Republic.
His first professional season came in 2019, when he slashed .275/.352/.549 with seven homers in just 163 plate appearances in the Dominican Summer League. He also had an 8.6 BB% and a 17.8 K%.
Like with all prospects, Martinez lost his 2020 season, and the Jays were rather aggressive with his 2021, placing him in Low-A. With the Dunedin Blue Jays, he slashed .279/.369/.572 with 19 homers and a 10.1 BB% and 26.1 K% in 326 plate appearances. This was the last time that Martinez faced pitchers his age, and he did well to post a 149 wRC+.
He was promoted in August 2021 to High-A Vancouver, where he slashed .214/.282/.491 with nine homers in 125 plate appearances. He had an 8 BB% and a 22.4 K%. He finished the short stint with a 99 wRC+.
The Jays were even more aggressive with the then 20-year-old, placing him in Double-A to start the 2022 season. There, he slashed .203/.286/.446 with 30 homers in 492 plate appearances, giving him a 96 wRC+. He had an 8.1 BB% and a 28.5 K%, which isn’t that bad when you consider he was just under four years younger than the average position player at that level.
With muscular frame, long legs, and broad shoulders, Martinez could add even more muscle as he ages. His calling card is his power, as he has some of the best raw power in the game. His hit tool is significantly less developed, as he struggles to lay off breaking stuff and will never hit for a high average. There’s also some swing and miss in his game, which will need to be cleaned up as he continues in the upper minors. Martinez is likely destined to play third base, where he has a strong arm and is an average fielder. He is a below-average runner.
Where he’ll start in 2023:
It’s likely the 21-year-old will start the 2023 season repeating the level in Double-A New Hampshire. If he can show improvement in laying off breaking balls, while hitting for a higher average, he may very well see some action in Triple-A.
He was added to the 40-man roster in November 2022, and the Jays have shown that they are rather aggressive in his development.
Up next is a left-handed pitcher. Take a guess who that is!
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