Saturday, January 9, 2016

DrB's 2016 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #17 Rodolfo Martinez

Rodolfo Martinez, RHP.  DOB:  4/4/1994.  6'2", 180 lbs.

2014 Rookie:  1-5, 8.78, 27.2 IP, 11.39 K%, 5.20 BB%, GO/AO= 2.02, BABIP= .524.
2015 Low A:  1-2, 2.54, 46 IP, 8.61 K%, 2.74 BB%, GO/AO= 1.38, BABIP= .296.

Rodolfo Martinez is another haaaard throwing RHP who was signed as a 20 yo international FA and assigned directly to the Arizona League, bypassing the DSL.  He had a rough introduction to pro baseball in 2014, but you could see a lot of good things in his numbers, the K rate and groundball rate for starters.  The ridiculous BABIP was probably due to something he wasn't doing right, but that was bound to come down.

The Giants must have liked what they saw too and sent him to full season ball in 2015 where his results, pitching out of the bullpen, were much better in Augusta.  Most encouraging is the dramatic drop in his walk rate.  Scouting reports coming out of the SAL had him consistently hitting the upper 90's with the FB.

Martinez could be on a fast track as a reliever or the Giants could decide to take their time developing him and try him as a starter.  Either way, his earliest ETA is probably 2018.  He has the stuff to be a future MLB closer or even a frontline starter.


  1. Isn't 20 yo a bit late for an IFA to sign, and if so, I wonder why. That said, pitchers, especially relievers, don't always follow a linear developmental curve, so perhaps Martinez can make up for some lost time and experience an accelerated path to the bigs.

  2. I suspect there have always been 20 yo IFA signings. The difference is greater accuracy in listed birthdates. As far as being behind the curve, he's pitched successfully at low A at age 21, so he is right on track now.

  3. Cove Chatter had him at 43. Mentioned his FB has hit 101 and he sat mid-90s 'all summer.' I went to the Augusta newspaper. David Lee reported a number of velocities (varying by day). 93-96 peak 97.

    "Augusta's Rodolfo Martinez: FB 93-96, t97, some run; SL 82-85, average, flashed downward break, needs more command; CH 83-85, noncompetitive."

    And this in mid-August:

    "BEST TOOLS: Baseball America recently released its annual Best Tools lists for each minor league level, and two GreenJackets were honored with SAL awards.

    Sam Coonrod was named the league’s best pitching prospect and given the league’s best breaking ball, and Rodolfo Martinez was named best reliever.

    Coonrod has a 3.23 ERA with 94 strikeouts in 94 2/3 innings. He has limited his walks while showing strikeout stuff, especially in short bursts when his fastball touches 97. The honored breaking ball is an above-average slider.

    Martinez is a flamethrowing reliever with a 3.22 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings. He’s capable of hitting 100 mph and consistently throws upper-90s."

    So, there we have it. And no wonder this guy came out of nowhere.

    1. This is really the only player rated significantly different between my list & DrB's. I'm just not sure I know enough about him to go top 25, but with that fastball I likely underrated him some. Though an 8 k/9 is nothing to sneeze at, I'm a bit surprised he didn't strike out more hitters in the SALLY with that kind of heat. This is certainly nitpicking, but I'd like him to show a bit more dominance before I get too excited about him.

      Cove Chatter

    2. I probably should have included this in the main profile, but over his last 10 appearances, Martinez put up a line of 0-0, 1.02, 17.2 IP, 4 BB, 18 K's. I would say that qualifies as dominance, albeit in a SSS.

      To me, Martinez had one thing he needed to prove in 2015: That he could get his walk rate down into a reasonable range. He actually did better than that as a BB/9 of less than 3 is a good walk rate in almost anyone's book. Combine that with the scouting reports of his consistent high 90's velocity and I think we have a real prospect on our hands.