Tigers in EST: Francisco Martinez

Francisco Martinez signed with the Tigers as a free agent in 2007 at age 16, but had to wait until to following year to make his professional debut.

A native of Miranda, Venezuela, Martinez was assigned to the Venezuelan Summer League in 2008.  He had a good season for a teenager beginning his professional career, hitting an impressive .321, but his meager .028 isolated power (ISO) indicated he would need time to develop.

Photo courtesy of Roger DeWitt

Martinez was brought stateside in 2009, playing the majority of the season with the GCL Tigers.  He struggled for the most part, posting a .222/.256/.320 slash line in 168 plate appearances.

While Martinez’s overall numbers were not pretty, he showed improvement in two key areas.  First, his ISO rose from .028 in 2008 to .098 in 2009.  His 2009 ISO was still not good, but the increase shows he was hitting the ball with more authority in his second professional season.  Considering his youth, there is good reason to think Martinez will continue to improve his power numbers as he matures.

The other part of Martinez’s game that significantly improved in 2009 was his baserunning.  Martinez stole 20 bases in his debut season, but was caught stealing 10 times, giving him a 67 percent success rate.  He was much more conservative last season, attempting to steal only 13 times, but he was safe in 12 of those attempts, giving him a 92 percent success rate.

Scouting reports rave about Martinez’s ability.  His TigsTown.com profile says he is a “true five-tool talent” with the potential to be a smooth defender at third base with premium offensive ability.

Martinez needs to show better plate discipline and power to fulfill that potential, but it would not be surprising to see him assigned to Connecticut in 2010.  If not, he will return to the GCL Tigers and try to improve his performance while repeating the league.

Name: Francisco Martinez

DOB: Sept. 1, 1990

Birthplace: Miranda, Venezuela

Bats-Throws: Right-Right

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