Top prospect Orelvis Martinez praised by former Blue Jay Edwin Encarnación

Photo credit:Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
1 month ago
You have to be a good prospect to be compared to Hanley Ramírez.
Fortunately for the Blue Jays and 22-year-old infielder Orelvis Martinez, such comparisons have been made. During Spring Training in 2022, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. compared Martinez to Ramírez, who slashed .289/.360/.486 with 271 home runs in 7,127 plate appearances from 2005 to 2019. In total, he finished with a 125 wRC+ and a 41.7 fWAR.
Former Blue Jay slugger Edwin Encarnación, who has been working with the team, also sees the comparison, according to MLB.com’s Keegan Matheson. However, Encarnación believes that Martinez actually has more talent at 22 years old than Ramírez had at the same age. The full quote can be found below.
“He has more power than Hanley. There’s more power than Hanley,” Encarnación said. “He just needs to learn his strike zone, but he’s going to get it. To me, he has more talent than Hanley at that age. He’s a great, great player. The good thing is that he likes to listen. He’s making adjustments.”
After a fantastic 2021 season, Martinez struggled in his assignment to Double-A. There, he slashed .203/.286/.446 with an 8.1 BB% and a 28.5 K%. Still, the power was on full display as he hit 30 home runs, the second-most in all of Double-A, with no one being close to his age at the time (20 years old).
It looked like the 2023 season was going to be similar, as he slashed .089/.169/.266 with six homers, along with an 8.9 BB% and a 24.4 K% in 90 plate appearances. However, between Double-A and Triple-A, Martinez slashed .276/.374/.545 with 24 homers in 448 plate appearances. Moreover, his BB% went up to 13.2%, while his K% had a drop to 23.2%.
The 2024 season will be a big one for Martinez, as he’ll start the season with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons. If he has a good Spring Training and plays well to start the season, he could position himself to be the first Bison to be called up, as he can play third base, second base, and shortstop.
Either way, a Blue Jays legend compared a young Jays prospect to a potential Hall of Famer. It doesn’t get much better than that.

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