Mar 31, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; An overview of Tropicana Field as the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays line up during the national anthem on opening day at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Martinez to make his major league debut


Texas Rangers starting pitcher Nick Martinez will face off against the Tampa Bay Rays David Price.  That’s a pretty tough way to be introduced during your major league debut.

Martinez will have some company to show him some support.  He is expected to have about 50 friends and family at the game today in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Head scratching: Many Ranger fans were probably scratching there head when they saw him announced in the Opening day rotation.  Martinez didn’t spend anytime with the Rangers during spring training.

According to baseball-reference.com, the 23 year old Nick Martinez stands 6’1″ and weighs 175 pounds.  He bats left-handed and pitches right-handed.  One thing you might now be able to see is he used to be an infielder when he played in college for the Fordham University.   The Texas Rangers drafted him 18th in the 2011 MLB June amateur draft and was shortly converted to a pitcher.

He pitched well in the minor league system last year for the Rangers.  He spent time with the Rangers High-A and Double-A teams.  During 2013, he posted an ERA of 2.50 with 128 strike outs and walked 45.

Top Prospect: He has been ranked as one of the top 20 prospects in baseball.

“Athletic right-hander out of Fordham shows strong command of three pitches and clean, easy mechanics. Could be strike-throwing inning-eating starter or a really good middle reliever.” said John Sickels of Minor League Ball – (Eric Stashin -Rotoprofessor)

Another ranking

“Martinez is a ground ball pitch who uses a 3 pitch repertoire that includes a 92-93 mph fastball, an average curveball, and an average change up… He’s got back of the rotation upside.” by Baseball Instinct  (Eric Stashin -Rotoprofessor)

Most don’t know who Nick Martinez is now, but in just a few hours he’ll be on the big stage for everyone to meet.  Looking at what’s he’s be able to do in the minors does look impressive.  Looks like Rangers fans are in for a nice introduction.

Could be one for the books: If Martinez is going to get the win, he’ll have to make some history doing it.  The last time a Texas Rangers pitcher made their major league debut on the road and won was back on June 23, 1985.  Glen Cook recorded his first win in the Metrodome against the Minnesota Twins.

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