The Pittsburgh Pirates are heading into their second game of Spring Training today and their home opener. Here is an outfield prospect to watch.
Yesterday, the Pittsburgh Pirates had their first Grapefruit League Game of 2019. The team went on the road and took on the Philadelphia Phillies. The Bucs won in a close game by a score of 3-2. They were winning 1-0 most of the game when pitching prospect Geoff Hartlieb came in and gave up a run in the 8th inning on a couple of tough plays.
However, outfield prospect Jason Martin proved to be the difference maker in the game. He came up in the 9th inning with catcher Christian Kelley on first base. Facing pitcher Luke Leftwich, Martin promptly put a charge into one and hit it over the wall in right center for the game winning homer.
With that all being said, Martin is once again in the lineup for today’s game against the Miami Marlins. Martin is batting in the 7th spot in the lineup and will play left field. The opposing pitcher is righty Trevor Richards. However, there is no guarantee that the lefty hitting Martin will get an at-bat against the righty pitcher.
Still, it is great to see Martin getting another chance to play. He is one of the team’s top outfield prospects coming in on MLB Pipeline’s 2019 list at number 11. As mentioned earlier he is a lefty hitter who throws with his right hand. He is currently 23 years of age and stands at 5’11” and weighs around 185 pounds.
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The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Jason Martin from the Houston Astros last offseason. He was one of the four pieces that came to the Pirates in the Gerrit Cole trade and was the only actual prospect involved. In the 2013 MLB Draft, Martin was at the first overall pick of the 8th round out of Orange Lutheran High School in California. At the time of the deal, he looked like more of a throw in as he was rated just inside their Top 30 at the time.
Instead, Martin proved to be a prospect worth watching. The Pittsburgh Pirates assigned Martin to Double-A Altoona where he missed the first week of the season. However, once he debuted for the Curve he started hitting and never stopped.
Martin played in 68 games for the Curve and put up eye popping numbers. He had a slash line of .325/.392/.522 with 27 extra base hits. His power was the most impressive part as he had 9 home runs and a WRC+ of 152 and an ISO of .196.
Martin did not have as much success at Triple-A when he was eventually promoted midway through the year.
Martin got off to a really slow start at Triple-A which ended up affecting his overall numbers for the year. In total, he played in 59 games for Indianapolis. When it was all said and done, Martin slashed .211/.270/.319 with 12 extra base hits. Obviously, not the numbers one would have hoped to see, but also was likely part of just transitioning to the highest level of minor league competition.
Jason Martin is a prospect with the ever so appealing power and speed combination. He can play all three outfield spots and should be a plus defender. Also being a lefty with some pop, he could utilize the Clemente Wall at PNC Park. There is a good chance that Martin could be called up to the Majors at some point this season. Hopefully, he has a good spring and gets off to a solid start at Triple-A this season.