Somewhat surprisingly, Martin—Oakland’s first-rounder in 2015—was left off the team’s 40-Man Roster this November, even on the heels of a strong season at Double-A. He was an obvious Rule 5 Draft candidate, going with the first pick of the Major League Phase to Baltimore. He now will get the chance to audition for a big league job this spring with the O’s.
Martin is a slick-fielding shortstop who has been known for his glove since his amateur days at Florida. He’s an above-average defender who has the versatility to play all over the infield. How much Martin would hit has been the bigger question for a few years, though a career-best .308/.368/.439 line in the Texas League gives hope his bat is on the upswing. In the absolute best-case scenario, Baltimore catches lightning in a bottle and Martin winds up a low-end regular. More realistically, he finishes a glove-first utility player who can spot-start all over the infield. He’s the type of Rule 5 player that can actually stick on a Major League roster for a full season.