Rangers Prospect Radar: Julio Pablo Martinez
By Kenneth Nash
Julio Pablo Martinez has drawn a number of Major League comparisons and has very high upside. But is he a part of the Rangers future?
Throughout this series we’re taking a look at the Rangers top prospects according to MLB.com Prospect Watch. We’re working our way from the top to the bottom of the list. Julio Pablo Martinez is officially a part of the Texas Rangers organization after the team confirmed the signing on April 19th. Get to know Texas’ newest prospect on this edition of Rangers Prospect Radar.
The Rangers officially announced an agreement with Julio Pablo Martinez on April 19th after news originally broke that the outfielder would sign with Texas in early March. Texas used the remaining $2.8 million in their international bonus pool to sign the Cuba native. He’s rather untested at a high level but has tremendous upside. In addition to being the #3 prospect in the Rangers system, Martinez also checks in at #70 on MLB.com 2018 Prospect Watch’s top 100 list. At 5’11” and 190lb., Martinez is a high upside guy that the Rangers are happy to have landed.
Julio Pablo Martinez is an left-handed outfielder that also hits from the left side of the plate. Prospect Watch mentions that Martinez’s tools are somewhat similar to Rangers top prospect Leody Taveras. Predominantly a center fielder, Martinez lacks a top tier arm but has plus speed that allows him to cover a lot of ground. Speed is the Cuban’s top asset graded as a 65 on the 20/80 scale and his defense is slotted as a 60 on the same scale. At the plate, he’s got plus contact but fairly average power. He will definitely be a hit for average type player which is something the Rangers organization could use.
Minor League Service
Martinez has yet to register any real Minor League Service being a brand new international prospect, but he does have a number of years playing in Cuba. In 2016-2017, Martinez played in the top Cuban league, the Cuban National Series, CNS. In 61 games, the outfielder hit an impressive .333 with 24 stolen bases. A stat Rangers fans will love to see is that he only struck out 30 times compared to 52 walks. In 5 total seasons in CNS, Martinez hit .293 dating back to the 2012-2013 season when he was just 16 years old. He also committed just 1 error in 451.1 innings in the 16/17 season.
Although he’s 22 years old, Julio Pablo Martinez is still a couple of seasons away from reaching the Major League roster. The outfielder currently is assigned to the Dominican Summer League team in the Rangers organization. Being at the rookie ball level, Martinez still has a number of levels to progress through in the minor league system. I think we can expect the outfielder to reach the MLB by the 2020 season around the same time Leody Taveras does. If he progresses very quickly he could make it to Double-A or Triple-A by next season.