SDI Prospect Rankings – #15 Brett Martin
It’s that time of year again. The time of year when we start counting down the Rangers best prospects and see who made strides over last year, who regressed, who was traded away and who was brought in. It was a big year for the Rangers Farm System. Three of the top six prospects were traded away, another four made the big leagues and at least two of them will make the Opening Day Roster. Before we get started with this years countdown though, let’s take a quick look at last years top 10 before we tackle this years.
|Prospect||2015 Starting Level||2015 Finished Level||2015 Highest Level Reached||Current Status|
|#1 Joey Gallo||AA - Frisco||AAA - Round Rock||MLB - Rangers||On 40 Man Projected - AAA Round Rock|
|#2 Jorge Alfaro||AA - Frisco||AA-Frisco||AA-Reading Fightin' Phils||Traded to Phillies|
|#3 Nomar Mazara||AA - Frisco||AAA - Round Rock||AAA - Round Rock||On 40 Man Projected - AAA Round Rock|
|#4 Chi Chi Gonzalez||AAA - Round Rock||MLB - Rangers||MLB - Rangers||Projected 5th Starter|
|#5 Jake Thompson||AA - Frisco||AA - Reading Fightin' Phils||AA - Reading||Traded to Phillies|
|# 6Nick Williams||AA - Frisco||AA - Reading||AA - Reading||Traded to Phillies|
|#7 Luis Ortiz||A - Hickory||A - Hickory||A - Hickory||Projected AA - Frisco|
|#8 Lewis Brinson||A+ - High Desert||AAA - Round Rock||AAA - Round Rock||Projected - AAA Round Rock|
|#9 Luke Jackson||AAA - Round Rock||MLB - Rangers||MLB - Rangers||On 40 Man Projected - AAA Round Rock|
|#10 Ryan Rua||MLB - Rangers||MLB - Rangers||MLB- Rangers||MLB - Rangers|
As you can see this years Top 10 is going to look drastically different because half of last years Top 10 has either been traded or graduated to the big leagues. Let’s get started, shall we?
We start this years top 15 with an intriguing but not well known name: Brett Martin. The 20 year old lefthander spent the entirety of the 2015 season with the Hickory Crawdads. Martin started 18 games this year, ending with a 3.49 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 92.1 innings. In a farm system severely lacking in quality left-handed starting pitchers, Martin is definitely top two in the system.
His stuff isn’t overwhelming, but what sets him apart is his above average control. Martin’s fastball sits 89-92 and touches 95. He can make it run or cut and has maintained excellent fastball command throughout his starts this past year. I have yet to see him in person, but from what I’ve heard he’s all of his listed 6′-4″ and maybe a little more than the listed 190 pounds. His feet are best described as being like those of a basset hound puppy. Having that huge 6′-4″ frame leaves some room for Martin to add some beef, and with it the ability to become the 200+ inning horse he projects to be.
To pair with that fastball, Martin has a changeup that he uses frequently enough and a curveball to round out the mix. The curve is at the present his best pitch, MLB.com has a 55 on it with potential to add bite as his development progresses. What impresses me more about Martin is his advanced feel for the game at such a young age. At 20, Martin has advanced command of the strike zone and feel for how to attack hitters. Voluntary regular use of the changeup from a 20 year old in low A is not a common thing to see these days.
Like most pitchers, Martin is most successful when he is able to locate his fastball down in the zone and forces a great deal of ground balls. That ground ball emphasis makes me think that the Rangers will let him play some in the deadly California league as the offensive juggernaut environment wouldn’t be as likely to mess up his development as it would for others.
It looks likely for Brett Martin to start off the year in High Desert an if he does well, there is a possibility he could see Frisco before 2016 is over. His upside is that around a mid rotation starter and a floor as a hard throwin’ lefty bullpen piece. Brett Martin may not be a name on the tip of your tongue when you think about Rangers prospects, but he’s definitely one you’ll want to keep an eye on this upcoming season.