It’s pretty heady when scouts are comparing you to a Hall of Famer. Orelvis Martinez, signed to the second highest bonus in last year’s IFA class, was compared to Adrian Beltre prior to inking a contract with the Blue Jays.
Now, that’s a pretty tough comp to live up to, but after skipping the DSL to start his pro career stateside in the GCL this past season, Martinez has at least lived up to some of the hype so far.
A Short Stop at the time of his signing, a thick lower half and below average speed suggest a full time move to 3rd Base in the future, and the Blue Jays nudged Martinez somewhat in that direction this year, although the majority of his reps were at SS.
The tool that truly stands out for Martinez is his bat. The ball jumps off of his barrel, and he generates tremendous bat speed with a whippy swing that comes from hip rotation and core strength. Like a lot of young IFAs, he has some trouble with spin, and will have to cut down his swing with two strikes, and lot of young players learning to play every day, he had his share of ups and downs in his rookie season. After a scintillating start to the GCL season, Martinez wore down in July, slashing .196/.274/.304. He rebounded impressively in August to post a 1.063 OPS, going yard in each of his last three games.
Defensively, Martinez shows soft hands and a strong, accurate arm. While there is some projection left in his frame, he doesn’t appear to have the quick-twitch reactions necessary for a SS.
There’s every chance that the Blue Jays leapfrog Martinez to Lansing next season, where he’ll join fellow top prospect Miguel Hiraldo in the Lugnuts’ lineup.