The MiLB Farm Report Week 17: Carlos Martinez & Other Arms with Giddy-Up in Advanced A & AA
Carlos Martinez, RH SP St. Louis
The 19-year old flamethrower still has the scouts buzzing following his lone Future’s Game frame. The 6’0 165 pound right-hander, nicknamed “Little Pedro” because of his filthy “stuff” and similar mound mannerisms, tossed a clean inning at Chase Field lighting up the radar gun with 96-98.
Martinez is more than simply an exceptional arm, however, blessed with a free and easy delivery and natural movement. His sharp curve and change-up are still rough around the edges, but both have the makings of devastating pitches over time.
Martinez was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2010, and his 12 starts in the DSL (Dominican Summer League) last season were unfathomable: 59 IP, 0.76 ERA, 28 hits allowed, 78 K and .144 BAA. He began 2011 in the Midwest League (A) where he pitched to a 2.33 ERA in eight starts, striking out 50 (14 BB) in 38 2/3 IP and generating a 2.21 GO/AO ratio.
He’s had some control issues upon his promotion to the FSL (Advanced A), issuing 14 walks in 24 1/3 IP. Still, his 1.45 GO/AO is highly encouraging. Martinez has surrendered only two long balls in over 120 MiLB innings.
While secondary offerings are in need of refinement, his progression through the Cardinals system can expect to be accelerated. Get as much out of that arm as possible at the highest level.
Nate Eovaldi, RH SP LA Dodgers
The Dodgers 11th round steal in 2008 is finding tremendous success in the AA Southern League, having recently been named a mid-season All-Star.
Eovaldi underwent Tommy John surgery in High School which deflated his draft stock, but three plus years later he appears no worse for the wear. Through 98 innings in 2011 he’s working to a 2.66 ERA, allowing a measly 73 hits (.204 BAA) and striking out 95. His BB total of 43 is a bit disconcerting, but at 21 years of age he’s working out the kinks in competitive AA ball.
In four July starts his ERA stands at 1.99 with a ridiculous 2.92 GO/AO ratio. His strikeout totals have been muted given his electric arm, but he’s piling up the ground balls. Further development of breaking stuff would alleviate concerns over inability to miss bats and provide more two-strike options.
He’s an athletic 6’3 195, boasting a four-seam fastball that sits comfortably in the mid 90’s, a two-seamer in the low 90’s and useful slider. Eovaldi disappointed somewhat at lower levels, but there’s little doubt he’s finally tapping into his potential this season.
A youth movement could be imminent in Los Angeles, and he is certainly among the names at the food chain apex.
*Eovaldi hit 100 MPH in the final pitch of his lone relief appearance this year. In fact, he and Aroldis Chapman threw back-to-back pitches at triple digits.
Manny Banuelos, LH SP NY Yankees
In his fourth MiLB campaign, the 20-year old Banuelos is getting his first taste of adversity (high ERA of 2.64 first three). His overall AA numbers look acceptable with a 3.74 ERA in 89 innings pitched, but positive performances have been few and far between as of late. Since finishing April with a 1.56 ERA and May with a 2.59 ERA, he’s posted a 5.20 mark in June and 5.03 in July.
Known for his plus command that he demonstrated at Low and Advanced A levels, he’s walking a batter every 1.8 innings in 2011 (49). Nevertheless, Banuelos is an extremely polished product for his age and experience level. He has clean mechanics and a repeatable delivery, but he’s still raw in terms of mental and physical maturity.
Not surprisingly, the Yankees have been exceedingly cautious with his workload, as he’s yet to surpass the 5 2/3-inning mark since June 1st. He’s added strength to his 5’11 155 frame, and a jump in velocity from low 90’s to mid 90’s has been the result. His repertoire also includes a lights out change-up rated amongst the minors best, and a tight curveball.
Banuelos’ name has been thrown around in trade deadline talks, however, he’s unlikely trade bait in a weak pitchers market. When/if he puts the full package together (and he has it), his upside is enormous.
(July 9, 2011 – Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America)
Written by Adam Ganeles exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com
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