Martinez signed for the second-largest bonus of last year’s J2 period, agreeing to a $3.5 million bonus with Toronto. The 17-year-old infielder is already stateside for Extended Spring Training, potentially hinting the Blue Jays plan to send him straight to the GCL (or even higher) once short-season ball begins.
Martinez is a large, athletic 6-foot-1, looking trimmer through the middle than he did in some of his showcase videos as an amateur. He’s still fairly thick in the lower-half at an early age and runs closer to average, so it’s likely 3B is the long-term defensive home. Even so, Martinez’ loud offensive tools jump out and are doubly impressive considering his youth. He whistles the bat through the zone with impressive batspeed for a teenager, generating advanced power from explosive hip torque and core strength. The ball jumps off his bat with tall lines, and while I didn’t see him fully square one up in a short look, it’s easy to see power potential just in the strength of his contact. Like many young international hitters, he’s over-aggressive on spin and is still learning to cut down his swing length when behind in the count.
There’s a reason Martinez commanded the bonus he did, and it will be interesting to see how game ready his bat is as a 17-year-old this summer. The strength, batspeed, and power potential are rare for this age—especially considering Martinez is likely to stay above the lowest parts of the defensive spectrum. With the qualifier that it’s accompanied by extreme risk, we’re filing him aggressively in the FV 50 tier already despite his current lack of pro track record.