January 1, 2008
Age: 24 Height: 6'3" Weight: 210 Bats: Left Throws: Left
|2007 Mahoning Valley||.360||54||197||27||71||8||1||8||40||23||40||0||.423||.533||.956|
Martin signed as an undrafted free agent out of Middle Tennessee State in July of 2006, and in his first year of extended action in the organization he hit .360 with 8 HR, 40 RBI and a .956 OPS in 54 games at Mahoning Valley in 2007. He won the NY-Penn League batting title, and he also set a Mahoning Valley record for the highest single-season batting average in franchise history, which surpassed Ben Francisco's league leading .349 batting average in 2002. Martin also set franchise records for on-base percentage (.423) and slugging percentage (.533) in a season. The Indians like his powerful bat and approach at the plate. He is a mechanically sound hitter with a great swing. Martin's success is directly tied to him being such an advanced, disciplined hitter at the plate where he rarely swings at a bad pitch, and he does a good job of spraying the ball around the field. At times, he has a tendency to get too anxious at the plate, which results in too much of an uppercut in his swing. He also needs to become more consistent with his swing and maintaining a downward plane to get backspin on the ball. Last year, he underwent a position change to first base and handled it well, and going forward could split time in the outfield and at first base. The knock on Martin is he dominated the NY-Penn League at an advanced age whereas most prospects his age are typically in Double-A or above. He missed a few games in mid-July with an injury, came back, but then got hurt in mid-August and was sidelined the rest of the year with a sprained knee. He played in the Hawaii Winter League, and his time was cut short after being sidelined with a wrist injury. Due to his age and advanced approach, if he is healthy the Indians will likely push him past Lake County where he will open the year as the starting first baseman in Kinston.
Video: Martin at the plate and taking batting practice.