Jose Martinez bounced through the minor league systems of the Orioles, White Sox, and Braves without significant success. He finally hit .319/.375/.444 for Atlanta’s High A squad in 2014, but the Braves cut the 26-year-old loose mid-season.
Martinez then thrived in the independent Frontier League (rated AA) with a .337/.388/.481 slash line, which drew the attention of KC Royals scouts. The right-handed hitting Jose Martinez then won the AAA Pacific Coast League batting title in 2015 for the Omaha Stormchasers by slashing .384/.461/.563.
While over-aged for a prospect, hitting .384 with an On Base Percentage of .461 gets you noticed. Interestingly enough, the Steamer projection system predicts Martinez to put up the highest wRC+ (adjusted runs created) of all the KC Royals right field candidates at 102 (2% above a league average player).
Could the Kansas City Royals have discovered a latter-day Raul Ibanez, who went on to enjoy 13 years of outstanding production after KC gave him an opportunity for a full time job at age 29? Or maybe they have unearthed their very own version of J.D. Martinez.
Jose Martinez’s first challenge will be to win the right field job in spring training despite his average defense.
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