Taking a Look at Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Mason Martin
By Cody Potanko
In this week’s farm report, we will take a look at a slugging first base prospect in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system – Mason Martin
In this week’s Pittsburgh Pirates player profile we will take a look at an exhilarating first base prospect Mason Martin. Martin was drafted in the 17th round of the 2017 MLB draft out of the state of Washington by way of Southridge High School. Martin is one of those Pirate prospects that jumped on to the scene last year with his raw power, which, according to FanGraphs, is an excellent 65.
The first base prospect started his 2019 campaign with the Pirates Low-A affiliate the Greensboro Grasshoppers. In Greensboro, he had an incredible tear. In 355 plate appearances, he hit 23 home runs, collected 83 RBIs, and posted a slash line of .262/.361/.575. His advanced stats showed even more good things with a .311 BAbip, an excellent wOBA of .413, and a 164 wRC+, which is 64 points above average.
Later on in the year Martin got the call up to the High-A Bradenton Marauders. His numbers did dip a bit with a slash line of .239/.333/.528, but we have to take things with a grain of salt. He had 154 less batting opportunities in Bradenton, which is roughly 51 games if he only has three at bats per game. Nonetheless, Martin still managed to swat 12 home runs, collect 46 RBIs, post a wOBA of .393, and even a great wRC+ of 155. With both squads Martin combined for 35 home runs and a whopping 129 RBIs earning him the 2019 Pirates Minor League Player of the Year.
Now that we mentioned the good, let’s mention the not so good. Martin is not the fastest cat in the pride, which would put a damper on his defensive abilities. The next bugaboo with Martin is his incredibly high strikeout rate. At Low-A Greensboro, he had a strikeout rate of 29.0%, and with High-A Bradenton it was an alarming 32.3%. Now, with his raw power, it can be excused, but we don’t want to see another Pedro Alverez. So, Martin must consistently put the barrel to bat to avoid this.
The good news for Martin is the lack of hurdles he must clear to reach the Majors and play every day. With Josh Bell becoming a free agent following the 2022 season and Will Craig not having taken an at bat in the Majors yet, Martin has a shot at becoming a regular by his projection date of 2023. In 2020 the expectations for Martin are to start at High-A Bradenton to work some things out, but come June or July it wouldn’t be a surprise if he takes the road trip to Altoona.