Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Jason Martin Off to a Hot Start

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates have what could be a really impressive line up at Double-A Altoona.  One of the key players in that lineup is Jason Martin.

The Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to a trade with the Houston Astros for Gerrit Cole back in the off-season.  Coming back in the deal were four player, including three major league pieces. The fourth player was of the prospect type, a young outfielder named Jason Martin.  Martin was a top 30 prospect in the Houston Astros organization, however, he was rated around number 20, not necessarily a top-tier prospect.   So why was he the prospect the Bucs picked?  Here is what I wrote on him back when they acquired him:

"“Martin is an interesting athlete, who has put up solid numbers in the minor leagues.  Over the last two seasons, he has hit 23 and 18 home runs respectively.  He also has swiped 36 bags over those two years.  His career slash line is .270/.345/.446.  Last year he saw his on-base percentage plummet to .319, but also his slugging percentage go up to .483 in 79 games at Double-A.  The reason his OBP dropped so much was that he struck out 25.6 percent of his at-bats while only walking 6.0 percent of the time.”"

Well, he has shown that so far this season.  He missed the first few games due to an injury he suffered toward the end of spring.  However, since returning Martin is showing more and more why the Pittsburgh Pirates dealt for him. He has appeared in 28 games thus far and has a slash line of .346/.504/.606.  In 104 at-bats he has 15 extra base hits, including four home runs, four triples, and seven doubles.  Along with all those extra base hits he also has belted in 17 RBIs.  One down side is that Martin has struck out 30 times in just 28 games, but he also has walked 10 times which is not too bad.

Next: Josh Harrison to Join Jason Martin

The 22-year-old should have a big league future of some sort with the Pittsburgh Pirates.  He is an athletic player who can play all three outfield positions.  Also, he is a lefty with some extra base pop, so his bat should play with a short right field porch at PNC.  Of course, he is only in AA and is behind several other outfielders in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.  He likely will not make it past Triple-A this season.  If he does, then that means something has gone horribly wrong in the outfield.  Until then, he likely will be in Double-A until Austin Meadows or Jordan Luplow is promoted.