Top prospect Orelvis Martinez called up to Triple-A, pitcher Casey Lawrence released
Photo credit:Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis2 months ago
There was some movement within the Toronto Blue Jays minor-league system on Monday.
Infielder Orelvis Martinez was promoted from Double-A New Hampshire to Triple-A Buffalo, outfielder Alan Roden was moved from the High-A Canadians to the Fisher Cats, and shortstop Jake McCarthy is heading from Low-A Dunedin to Vancouver.
Martinez is generally considered to be the top position player prospect in Toronto’s system. He had a huge season in 2021 between Low-A and High-A and came into the 2022 season ranked in the top-100 lists of the three major scouting services, highlighted by a No. 38 overall ranking by MLB Pipeline.
His stock as a prospect took a hit last season after a difficult showing in New Hampshire. Martinez flashed tremendous power with 30 home runs and 15 doubles as a 20-year-old in Double-A but struck out a whopping 140 times and posted a .286 on-base percentage.
The Blue Jays sent Martinez back to New Hampshire for another go-around at Double-A to start the 2023 season and he’s done an excellent job at cutting down the strikeouts and getting on base more. Through 70 games, Martinez put up a .339 on-base percentage and a 60-to-41 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The power is also still there, as Martinez hit 17 homers and nine doubles with the Fisher Cats.
Martinez has split his time between shortstop and third base over the past couple of seasons. The Blue Jays have Bo Bichette entrenched at short at the big-league level but Martinez could be an option to fill third base next season if Matt Chapman leaves the team in free agency.
In other Bisons-related news, veteran pitcher Casey Lawrence has exercised an opt-out in his minor-league deal with the Blue Jays and is now a free agent.
Lawrence signed with the Blue Jays as an undrafted free agent back in 2010 and finally made his Major League debut with the team in 2017. He spent time with the Seattle Mariners and in Japan and returned to the Blue Jays in 2021. Over 18 starts with the Bisons this season, Lawrence logged 90 2/3 innings and posted a 4.67 ERA.
There isn’t any report on why Lawrence opted out of his deal with the Blue Jays but it’s fair to assume there won’t be a Major League opportunity for him in Toronto this year and he’s going to look for one elsewhere. The Blue Jays will also be moving pitchers up from Double-A to Triple-A in the coming weeks so Lawrence moving on opens up a spot in the team’s rotation for a prospect.
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