20. Carlos Martinez, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
Mozeliak, Matheny wait patiently
Martinez was signed as a minor league free agent in April of 2010 out of the Dominican Republic after he was originally drafted by the Boston Red Sox under a fake name. In his first full minor league season in 2011, he went 6-5 with a 3.93 ERA with 98 strikeouts and 44 walks in 84 2/3 innings at two Single-A stops. Last year at High-A Palm Beach and Double-A Springfield, he combined to go 6-5 with a 2.93 ERA with 92 strikeouts and 32 walks in 104 1/3 frames.
Martinez's fastball is major league-ready right now. He consistently sits in the upper 90s thanks to his tremendous arm speed and max-effort style of pitching. However, he tends to overthrow at times, making his mechanics somewhat erratic. The 21-year-old's curveball is another plus pitch that has sharp, late-biting movement similar to a slider. An improved changeup rounds out his repertoire, but it's regarded as average to below-average at best. He doesn't project to fill out his 6-foot, 165-pound frame much more, so the stamina needed to become a front-line starting pitcher at the major league level may be a tough proposition, especially given his high-effort pitching style.
Improved command over the past two seasons bodes well for his chances at seeing time in the majors, possibly even this year. The Cards are pretty stocked with starters ahead of him, though, so if he does receive a call-up this year, it'll probably be in some sort of relief role. Expect him to get a shot at a rotation spot in 2014.
Top fantasy baseball prospects - AL 1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
Top fantasy baseball prospects - NL 1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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