The one player it seems like everyone is overlooking this season is a 28 year old rookie from the St. Louis Cardinals named Jose Martinez. The Cardinals have been known to turn ordinary players into top tier talents. Don’t believe me, just look at Matt Carpenter, Tommy Pham and David Freese. Martinez started the season as a backup outfielder, but he will also be eligible as an outfielder in 2018 drafts. So the question remains, is Martinez a real threat at the plate or is he just another one hit wonder.
Martinez started the year without even having a certain spot on the team, but he had such an impressive spring training the team decided to keep him on. Now some people will tell you spring training numbers don’t mean anything, and this is mostly true. Martinez however proved to us that we shouldn’t throw out spring training numbers completely, but to just keep them in the back of our head as the season rolls on.
This season he has hit .305/.372/.513, and although I do not believe he will have a batting average above .300 next season, I could see a slash line of .280/.360/.480 from the Cardinals new first baseman. I see his batting average stick around the .280 due the fact he had an impressive 8% SwStr and was in the top ten in line drive percentage between players with at least 300 plate appearances. He also ranked 38th in Brls/PA and 25th in percentage of hits above 95 mph between players with at least 100 batted balls. He has also been very discipline at the plate, as he owns a 27% O-Swing. This plate discipline will make him even more valuable in OBP and points leagues next season. Although I don’t see Martinez as a major home run threat, I could still see him putting up 25-28 home runs as long as the at bats are there. Lastly, Martinez has above average speed according to statcast’s sprint speed, so he could put up 8-10 stolen bases with those home runs. In conclusion he looks like a 25/10 hitter who will hit for a .280 batting average and is still in his prime. If this is the case he would have similar numbers to Domingo Santana and Marwin Gonzalez, who ranked 54th and 82nd on ESPN’s player rater. Don’t miss your chance,and use that 25th pick to draft the next surprise star from St. Louis.