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MLB Pipeline: Austin Martin

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Re-posting from another thread in the Amateur Draft forum:

 

Some interesting comments from Jim Callis:

“If Torkelson doesn’t go No. 1, I think Mike Elias would say, ‘Thank you very much,’ and take Torkelson. If he goes one, I don’t think it’s a clear-cut decision at No. 2 yet. Austin Martin is No. 2 on our prospect list. Very good player at Vanderbilt. Led the SEC in hitting and on-base last year, the best conference in college baseball.

“There is some question to where he will play. He opened this year at third, didn’t throw well and they move him to the outfield in center. Is he a center fielder, a third baseman, an offensive second baseman? That is a little unclear, but he is the best pure hitter in this draft. But I don’t think he’s a lock at No. 2. I think there are a number of teams that would take Asa Lacy ahead of him. He’s the best pitcher in this draft.”

This from Jonathan Mayo in an interview with PressBox:

PB: Let’s just say Torkelson goes one and the Orioles are sitting there looking at Martin at two. It feels like the conversation has shifted in that he’s being looked at as a center fielder. Is that the best bet for Martin and where he ends up playing?

JM: That’s the likelihood. I gave the sort of very, very small negative to the fact that he hadn’t played shortstop this year. The positive is maybe he could play center field. Maybe he can play third base. I think whoever drafts him will send him out as a shortstop and then you’ll see what happens. If it doesn’t work, he can play center. I think he’d be pretty good out there. The tools all play out there, and then maybe, what, you’re faced with an Adam Jones kind of player, and yes I did cherry pick that name for Orioles fans. But I saw Adam Jones in the minors as a shortstop, so it took me a second to be like, “Oh, he’s going to play center?” And then he turned into a good big-league center fielder. I think that if that’s your worst case, that’s still a really exciting player with an unbelievable feel for hitting who will play up the middle somewhere in all likelihood.

From an article on MLB.com, regarding who baseball execs favored to #1, Torkelson or Martin (Tork won handily):Quote

The case for Martin

While they were in the clear minority, Martin's backers pointed to his pure hitting ability, more all-around game and defensive versatility. Several of the executives who opted for Torkelson still lavished praise on Martin, with an AL scouting director saying that Martin would have the higher ceiling if he proves he can handle center field and an AL crosschecker opining that Martin has a chance to be an 80 hitter.

Here's what Martin's advocates had to say:

AL executive: "Martin, by a smidge, due to the positional versatility and superior contact ability. They’re both exceptional talents -- two of the better position players in the Draft in years. It’s a shame we won’t get to see the performance lines they would’ve put up this year. Torkelson will likely be the better hitter but Martin will have more overall value. In fact, Martin is among the most well-rounded college position players of the last decade."

NL crosschecker: "Martin is the better prospect. The only tool Torkelson has better is raw power and probably power production. Martin does have good usable power though. The hit tools are close to even but I would give Martin the edge. Athletically, they're not in the same hemisphere. Martin throws, runs and fields better than Torkelson. Martin is more versatile positionally. I saw him in center field this spring and he has a chance there."

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FWIW the Adam Jones comp seems off.  I suspect he didn't mean as a hitter, but was probably referring to going from SS to CF, and Jones was the reference.To me the similarities are speed and power potential, but Jones had a better arm, and far less elite bat to ball skills. Martin projects to hit over .300 with a .400'ish OBP and is said to be an outstanding base-runner. All of this Martin talk and the O's go with Lacy or Veen. LOL!

 

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I would usually post this on the Amateur Draft forum, but Martin has generated a fair amount of discussion here, so I decided to post it in this thread. If it should be moved there, I apologize.

In Kiley McDaniel’s Mock Draft 2.0, he indicates that there is a 50% chance the Orioles select Martin and a 40% chance they go under slot and select Nick Gonzales. McDaniel writes:

“This pick is expected once again to come down to a Boras client who is the consensus best talent at the pick (Martin) and a player who fits this team's preferences and will be much cheaper without being seen as a big drop-off in talent (New Mexico State 2B Nick Gonzales).”

He notes that he would bet on the more talented Martin being taken, but references the Correa pick allowing Houston to select McCullers. He also notes that the O’s are linked to Dax Fulton (Fulton was seen as a mid-first-round selection before TJ surgery this summer) with their second pick and would need savings for that (he has the O’s selecting Fulton at 30),

https://www.espn.com/mlb/insider/story/_/id/29216982/kiley-mcdaniel-2020-mlb-mock-draft-20

I’d be happy with Martin or Gonzales. I think Gonzales is underrated given his performance last summer on the Cape and scouting reports, but still prefer Martin. I’m certainly not saying that Martin becomes Machado, but a lot of this discussion Martin/pitcher discussion reminds me of Machado/Taillon. I’ll take the guy who had a 1.091 OPS with a .486 OBP (last year).

Martin/Fulton seems like a great start to the draft (but I’m certainly not a scout).

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15 minutes ago, Sydnor said:

I would usually post this on the Amateur Draft forum, but Martin has generated a fair amount of discussion here, so I decided to post it in this thread. If it should be moved there, I apologize.

In Kiley McDaniel’s Mock Draft 2.0, he indicates that there is a 50% chance the Orioles select Martin and a 40% chance they go under slot and select Nick Gonzales. McDaniel writes:

“This pick is expected once again to come down to a Boras client who is the consensus best talent at the pick (Martin) and a player who fits this team's preferences and will be much cheaper without being seen as a big drop-off in talent (New Mexico State 2B Nick Gonzales).”

He notes that he would bet on the more talented Martin being taken, but references the Correa pick allowing Houston to select McCullers. He also notes that the O’s are linked to Dax Fulton (Fulton was seen as a mid-first-round selection before TJ surgery this summer) with their second pick and would need savings for that (he has the O’s selecting Fulton at 30),

https://www.espn.com/mlb/insider/story/_/id/29216982/kiley-mcdaniel-2020-mlb-mock-draft-20

I’d be happy with Martin or Gonzales. I think Gonzales is underrated given his performance last summer on the Cape and scouting reports, but still prefer Martin. I’m certainly not saying that Martin becomes Machado, but a lot of this discussion Martin/pitcher discussion reminds me of Machado/Taillon. I’ll take the guy who had a 1.091 OPS with a .486 OBP (last year).

Martin/Fulton seems like a great start to the draft (but I’m certainly not a scout).

Gonzalez is a very good prospect, but while he did well at the Cape, I always have major reservations about players that essentially play at the Coors Field of college baseball-- NM State.  Gonzalez may actually be outstanding, but I REALLY don't like bypassing (seemingly) better prospects hoping to massage the cap to extract the best overall group of talent. Going under-slot is very risky and if we forego Martin to take this route, it had better work out for us. 

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As a follow up, I only ever see the example of Correia and McCullers to show how going the under-slot strategy works, but it would be interesting to review the other times it was done to see how well that strategy fared overall. Perhaps I shouldn't be as concerned about going that route as I am? 

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1 minute ago, Greg Pappas said:

As a follow up, I only ever see the example of Correia and McCullers to show how going the under-slot strategy works, but it would be interesting to review the other times it was done to see how well that strategy fared overall. Perhaps I shouldn't be as concerned about going that route as I am? 

Hobgood would be an example.

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46 minutes ago, Greg Pappas said:

Gonzalez is a very good prospect, but while he did well at the Cape, I always have major reservations about players that essentially play at the Coors Field of college baseball-- NM State.  Gonzalez may actually be outstanding, but I REALLY don't like bypassing (seemingly) better prospects hoping to massage the cap to extract the best overall group of talent. Going under-slot is very risky and if we forego Martin to take this route, it had better work out for us. 

Quote

4. Nick Gonzales, 2B, New Mexico State

If one of the top-ranked hitters is going to slide on draft day, then it's probably going to be Gonzales. Despite incinerating the Western Athletic Conference (.448/.610/1.155 slash line with 12 home runs and 11 more walks than strikeouts in 16 games) and last summer's Cape Cod League (.351/.451/.630), there are nagging concerns about his upside. His exit velocities were more pedestrian than one might suspect, leading some evaluators to believe his power potential (and the validity of comparisons to Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Keston Hiura) is overstated. A data-driven team might find it hard to justify popping Gonzales so early, lest they end up with a singles-hitting second baseman who isn't a threat to run or win a Gold Glove.

https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/2020-mlb-draft-ranking-top-25-position-players-and-how-scouts-executives-view-these-hitters/

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47 minutes ago, Greg Pappas said:

Gonzalez is a very good prospect, but while he did well at the Cape, I always have major reservations about players that essentially play at the Coors Field of college baseball-- NM State.  Gonzalez may actually be outstanding, but I REALLY don't like bypassing (seemingly) better prospects hoping to massage the cap to extract the best overall group of talent. Going under-slot is very risky and if we forego Martin to take this route, it had better work out for us. 

New Mexico State is completely off the charts.  Last year the Rockies scored/allowed something over five runs/game.  New Mexico State scored 11 runs a game.  Eleven point zero nine runs per game.  They led the WAC in scoring by five runs a game.  They scored almost as many runs as the Marlins did in 162 games, in 55 games.  Their average batter had a 1.045 OPS.  They were the best team in the WAC and their pitchers allowed almost six runs a game.

Sure, Nick Gonzalez hit .432/.532/.773.  But they had two other regulars hit over .400.  He didn't lead the team in homers.  Two other guys slugged .700.

This isn't Coors Field, this is like Coors Field on crack and steroids and LSD and Quaaludes.

I don't even know how you judge anyone who plays there.  You almost have to discount everything, and go by their much smaller sample summer league numbers.  Which dramatically increases risk, in my opinion.

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14 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

New Mexico State is completely off the charts.  Last year the Rockies scored/allowed something over five runs/game.  New Mexico State scored 11 runs a game.  Eleven point zero nine runs per game.  They led the WAC in scoring by five runs a game.  They scored almost as many runs as the Marlins did in 162 games, in 55 games.  Their average batter had a 1.045 OPS.  They were the best team in the WAC and their pitchers allowed almost six runs a game.

Sure, Nick Gonzalez hit .432/.532/.773.  But they had two other regulars hit over .400.  He didn't lead the team in homers.  Two other guys slugged .700.

This isn't Coors Field, this is like Coors Field on crack and steroids and LSD and Quaaludes.

I don't even know how you judge anyone who plays there.  You almost have to discount everything, and go by their much smaller sample summer league numbers.  Which dramatically increases risk, in my opinion.

I never looked it up, just referenced what others have said. Thanks for doing actual research. That's crazy. :) Great line here> "This isn't Coors Field, this is like Coors Field on crack and steroids and LSD and Quaaludes." LOL!

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4 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

You do have the road numbers.

Maybe you do.  And it's still the WAC, where an average team scores about six runs a game.  In 2019 an average WAC team scored more runs than an NL team in 1930, the highest scoring year since 1900.  That was the year you could hit .325 in an eight-team league and not finish in the top 20.

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Nick Gonzales hit .432/.532/.773 in 2019.

Our own Joey Ortiz, last year's 4th rounder and Gonzales's typical double play partner at SS, hit .422/.474/.697. He proceeded to hit .241/.345/.267 at Aberdeen. 

I know nothing about Gonzales and don't know what to make of those numbers. They're crazy.

Edited by makoman
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An older take, but given where we are, perhaps not much has changed. To be clear, I prefer Martin. I’m only saying that I’m not going to melt down if the O’s select Gonzales.

 

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On 5/21/2020 at 7:46 AM, wildcard said:

I agree that Martin probably is drafted in the top 4 because of his bat.   I just don't think the O's need a good hitting  2B more then they need a top of the rotation starter considering how hard it is to find quality starters  to pitch in Camden Yards.

This team needs talent.  Period.  

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On 5/21/2020 at 11:47 AM, weams said:

 

 I posted this last year in the early look at the 2020 draft thread.  Just sayin' 😎

Quote

I would keep an eye on Mick Abel.  Upper 90's FB, flashes plus slider, command coming around and working on a changeup but hard throwing HS all need to work on that.  It will be interesting to see how much weight he adds to his frame this fall/winter and how he progresses next spring.

He added about 15 pounds btw, to almost 200.

 

I am pretty gun shy on taking a HS pitcher after Bundy being derailed by injuries but do you always take the safest pick at the top of the draft?  I understand that the Os cant afford to miss, so I would lean toward Martin.  If they are going under slot, I would go with Abel.

 

Quote

“He’s a pitcher. He’s learning more and more every day. He has an advanced idea of pitch-tunneling. He understands what his pitches do and how they pair up. How pitches match up. That’s advanced.”

Instead of pitching for his Jesuit High team this spring, Abel finished his high school days taking online classes and going to throw bullpens. Those bullpens are sometimes caught by former Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman, whom the Orioles drafted with the first overall pick in 2019.

“It’s crazy to me to catch him and reflect on it afterward. That’s a high school guy? It doesn’t seem like a high school guy,” Rutschman said. “You rarely see an arm that good. To see the kind of stuff he’s got. He’s electric. It’s a very impressive arm action. It’s smooth.”

 

https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/mick-abel-has-a-chance-to-buck-mlb-draft-history/

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