Him being Fernanchise, of course.
Still, Martinez hasn’t done anything really special in pro baseball. This year’s power display—which came attached, one notes, to a 1:3 bb:k ratio as well as to a line drive rate notably higher than his career average to date—is the first time he’s hit well since a 46-game run at Class A three years ago. You can handwave it away with talk about his age and park factors and the like, but great players usually play great baseball. And saying that a player has been young for his levels is often a polite way of saying he’s been rushed, something that won’t cripple a really first-rate talent but could leave a player just a half-notch down without the sheer, repetitious experience of high level baseball to allow him to make best use of his skills.
If Martinez is everything he might be, he’ll adjust in and to the majors even as he’s figuring out how to get into the yards, how much to tip the clubbies and just what you’re supposed to do with a check like that. But that can take a long time. (Remember that the time during which sharp Mets fans tended to think that Jose Reyes was a bit more like Cristian Guzman than Barry Larkin was measured in years.)
Given their situation, with the superb players in their primes, injuries and their many fall deaths of late, it’s really important for the Mets to get passable production out of the outfield corners, which I doubt Martinez is ready to give them. He’s the best of bad options, but he’s a bad one right now, and while he may not get off to an Escobaresque start with 19 strikeouts in 53 plate appearances or the like, things could still get ugly. I don’t know of a way to study the issue, but I’d suspect that top prospects who get their first introduction to the majors in situations where they can’t fail for big city teams at young ages are a bit less likely to develop to their full potential than other prospects, and that’s what I find worrying.
Posted: May 29, 2009 at 08:05 PM | 52 comment(s)
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