Michael Martinez

  Born: September 16, 1982
Height: 5’9″
Weight: 175
Bats: Both
Throws: Right
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2005 (Nationals)
How Acquired:
 Minor League Free Agent
Country: Dominican Republic
Agent: California Sports


Martinez originally signed with the Nationals, but the Phillies took him in the Rule 5 draft and he managed to stick with them all year, as well as for parts of the following two years.  He’s a utility player who’s shown no hitting ability at all in the majors and not very much in the minors.  In fact, he’s historically bad at the plate.  According to Fangraphs, among non-pitchers with 400+ plate appearances since 2001, Martinez ranks last by wRC and next-to-last by OPS.  He’s played a lot at both middle infield positions and also has spent time at third and in center.  He appears to have good range, although it’s hard to judge the fielding ability of a guy who plays all over the place.  The Pirates signed Martinez to a minor league deal for 2014.

A-:  321/363/396, 159 AB, 5 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 9 BB, 28 K, 6-14 SB
A:  172/234/172, 87 AB, 7 BB, 10 K, 4-7 SB
A+:  217/280/304, 23 AB, 2 2B, 1 BB, 1 K, 1-1 SB

Martinez split his debut season mainly between short season ball and low A.  In the field, he split his time between short and second.

A:  250/301/327, 404 AB, 21 2B, 5 3B, 27 BB, 68 K, 13-16 SB

The Nationals kept Martinez all year in low A, where he was the regular shortstop.  He hit very little.

AAA:  266/320/376, 417 AB, 25 2B, 6 3B, 3 HR, 27 BB, 49 K, 25-32 SB

In high A, Martinez split his time between short and second.  His hitting improved a little, mainly in the form of increased power.

A+:  293/347/475, 198 AB, 14 2B, 5 3B, 4 HR, 16 BB, 31 K, 10-16 SB
AA:  223/313/298, 188 AB, 7 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 20 BB, 34 K, 0-3 SB

Martinez opened the season in AA, again splitting his time between short and second.  He struggled at the plate and, at mid-season, the Nationals sent him back to high A, where he played mainly at second.  He did the best hitting of his career after the demotion.

AA:  253/298/393, 359 AB, 14 2B, 6 3B, 8 HR, 20 BB, 54 K, 15-24 SB
AAA:  325/353/452, 126 AB, 7 2B, 3 HR, 3 BB, 20 K, 8-11

Martinez went back to AA and showed a little power at the plate, although he otherwise didn’t hit very well.  He did much better after a promotion to AAA.  He played mainly second, but also saw time in center and at short.  After the season, the Phillies selected him in the Rule 5 draft.

MLB:  196/258/282, 209 AB, 5 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 18 BB, 35 K, 3-3 SB 

Martinez stayed on the Phillies’ roster all year.  Due to injuries to Chase Utley and Placido Polanco, he probably got more playing time than expected.  Aside from second and third, he also saw time at short and in center.  He struggled at the plate.

A+:  333/375/400, 15 AB, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
AAA:  271/331/402, 107 AB, 4 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 10 BB, 12 K, 3-4 SB
MLB:  174/208/252, 115 AB, 3 2B, 2 HR, 5 BB, 21 K

Martinez missed the first two months with a fractured right foot.  He divided the rest of the season between the majors and AAA.  He played all over, mainly third, short and the outfield in the majors.

AAA:  300/352/407, 243 AB, 11 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 18 BB, 37 K, 6-11 SB
MLB:  175/175/175, 40 AB, 12 K, 1-1 SB

The Phillies outrighted Martinez to AAA after the 2012 season and that’s where he opened 2013, mainly playing shortstop.  The Phillies called him up and outrighted him back to AAA several times during the season.  He saw only limited action in the majors.  After the season the Phillies outrighted him again and he opted for free agency.

AAA:  244/303/311, 315 AB, 6 2B, 6 3B, 1 HR, 29 BB, 46 K, 7-11 SB
MLB:  128/209/154, 39 AB, 1 2B, 4 BB, 13 K

Martinez spent the majority of the season in AAA, playing second, short, third, center and left.  He put up anemic hitting numbers through mid-June, but with Neil Walker on the disabled list and Josh Harrison day-to-day with an ankle injury, the Pirates called him up.  That callup didn’t last long, but in early July they called him back up for six weeks.  Even worse, they actually gave him seven starts.  Martinez was predictably awful during his time with the Pirates.  The Pirates’ current front office, though, continues to be fascinated with non-hitting veteran bench players.  This obsession proved costly when the combination of Martinez, Brent Morel and Jayson Nix combined to go 0-for-19 during the team’s seven-game losing streak in August.  The Pirates sent Martinez back to AAA when Andrew McCutchen returned from the disabled list in mid-August.  They then designated him for assignment to clear roster space for Chase d’Arnaud on September 2.  Not surprisingly, Martinez cleared waivers and was outrighted to AAA.

Martinez is eligible for minor league free agency again.  It shouldn’t be difficult for the Pirates to find middle infield depth that presents at least a little chance of contributing offensively if called upon.  The traditional defense of bench players like Martinez is that defense is important.  Predictably, though, Martinez was called upon to pinch hit a dozen times, which amounted to over a quarter of his plate appearances and nearly a third of his games played.  Offense for bench players does matter.

Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
2014: Major league minimum
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2006
MLB Debut: 4/3/2011
MiLB FA Eligible: 2014
MLB FA Eligible: 2018
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 12/9/2010
Options Remaining: 1 (USED:  2012, 2014)
MLB Service Time: 2.054
June 17, 2005: Signed as an international free agent with the Washington Nationals.
December 9, 2010: Selected in the Rule 5 draft by the Philadelphia Phillies.
October 23, 2012: Outrighted to AAA by the Philadelphia Phillies.
May 24, 2013: Recalled by the Philadelphia Phillies.
June 21, 2013: Designated for assignment by the Philadelphia Phillies; outrighted to AAA on June 24.
July 24, 2013: Recalled by the Philadelphia Phillies.
October 7, 2013: Outrighted to AAA by the Philadelphia Phillies and became a free agent.
December 13, 2013: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
June 12, 2014: Called up by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
September 2, 2014: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates; outrighted to AAA on September 7.