Throughout spring training I’ll be running down my list of the top 30 Rays prospects, with the occasional weekend interlude. Check back daily to get caught up on the system with a new capsule each day.
Brandon Martin | 5-11/185
Supplemental 1st, 2011 draft (Santiago HS, CA)
What happened in 2012? He hit for power and solidified his reputation as a quality defensive shortstop. The two are not trivial: Plus defensive shortstops and shortstops who hit for power are both rare breeds, so to get them together is like a Reese’s, two great tastes that taste great together. Martin hit ten home runs in 63 games for the P-Rays and was named the system’s top defensive infielder. But alas, he only ranks 26th because…
What needs to happen in 2013? He has some pretty major issues making contact that need to be corrected. He whiffed 73 times in those 63 games, or in over a quarter of his plate appearances. That led to him hitting just .209/.272/.402. He was young for his draft class so 2012 was his age-18 season as opposed to Jake Hager and Tyler Goeddel (and others) who were in their age-19 season. So while Martin is "behind" those guys, he really isn’t assuming he makes the transition to full-season ball in 2013. If he’s able to cut down on the strikeouts while flashing the power and the glove, he could close the gap with Hager if not eclipse it.