Power – First Baseman Mason Martin
MLB Pipeline: 60
Fangraphs: 35, future 60. Raw power grade: 70
It was pretty close between Mason Martin and infield prospect Oneil Cruz. Both had 60 grades for their power by MLB pipeline, and 60 future grades by FanGraphs. Although Cruz did have a slight edge in raw power, it wasn’t by much, and Martin had the higher current FanGraphs power grade.
But given Martin’s outstanding power display in the minors last season, I had to give him the slight edge. Last season between Low-A Greensboro and High-A Bradenton, the first base prospect posted a .254/.351/.558 line, including 35 long balls and 32 doubles. In Greensboro he had a 164 wRC+ (355 PAs) and 155 wRC+ (201 PAs) in Bradenton.
Among all Pittsburgh Pirates minor leaguers, he was the only player to reach the .500 slugging percentage mark with at least 300 plate appearances, and was first in Pirates’ minor league home runs by a 12 long ball margin. He also walks a lot as he was first in walk percentage last season. However, fielding wise, he isn’t the best, and he struck out 168 times in 556 plate appearances.
Martin isn’t ranked among the top 100 by MLB Pipeline, but is ranked as the Bucs’ 15th best prospect. Meanwhile, FanGraphs pins him as the team’s 16th best prospect. This was Martin’s first full season in the minors, and right now, he is considered the future first baseman for the Pirates.
After all, he seems like a Joey Gallo-lite in terms of his overall skill set. High walk rate, high strikeout rate, not the best batting average, but hits for a ton of power. However, Gallo is a much better fielder and base runner.