Blue Jays Prospect Orelvis Martinez is Hitting His Way to the Big Leagues

Toronto Blue Jays prospect Orelvis Martinez has been producing at the plate as of late and putting himself in line for a promotion.

DUNEDIN, FL - MARCH 13: Toronto Blue Jays Infielder Orelvis Martinez (2) at bat during the spring training game between the Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays on March 13, 2023, at the TD Ballpark in Dunedin, FL. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Orelvis Martinez has been a prominent figure on the Blue Jays’ top prospect lists since being signed out of the Dominican Republic in the summer of 2018. His plus bat and raw power at the plate were his major selling features as a young prospect and he continues to showcase those abilities as he works his way up the Minor League ladder.

Heading into the 2024 season, Martinez joins a star-studded Buffalo Bisons infield that includes Leo Jimenez, Damiano Palmegiani, and Spencer Horwitz, all of whom are looking to make the jump to the big league roster (or back to in Horwitz’s case). While the Jays front office has not been afraid to trade prospect talent in the past, such as Jordan Groshans, Austin Martin, and Gunnar Hoglund, Martinez is one player the Jays have hung onto despite the interest from clubs across the league.

At just 22-years old, Martinez has been impressive so far this year down in Buffalo, starting the year in Triple-A.

Through 19 games and 76 at-bats, the right-handed batter owns a .316/.374/.645 slash line with seven doubles, six home runs, and 18 RBI with a 1.018 OPS. Through his last eight games, Martinez has collected all six of his home runs on the season, including a two-homer day on April 19th.

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He just saw an epic 15-game hit streak come to a close and has a base hit in all but two games this year, an 0-4 day in late March and another last night. While he got into a bit of a slow start through his first handful of games, he has been sporting an average North of .290 since a three-hit day on April 7th against Worcester and hasn’t looked back since.

On the field, the Jays have been using the Dominican at second base for all but two of his starts, with the other two coming as a DH. Through 127 innings, he boasts a .909 fielding percentage with six errors. He finished the 2023 season playing second base but for the majority of his career, Martinez has found himself split between third base and shortstop, a move that the Jays feel bodes better for his future development into the big leagues and the organization’s current scheme.

Orelvis Martinez is Hitting His Way to a Big League Promotion

Looking at the stats, it’s pretty easy to see that Martinez’s bat is his calling card, as the infielder possesses 60-grade power, routinely hits above 100 MPH, and sends home runs a long way, including that 469-foot grand slam last week.

His defense is still a work in progress and finding a spot for him on a crowded Blue Jays roster with regular at-bats will not be an easy feat but Martinez is quickly putting himself in a position where he is going to force the organization’s brass to promote him sooner than later. Especially since the Jays have been unable to put up runs with regularity, with the five-run mark being their curse since April 6th.

The Jays won’t be quick to promote Martinez either, with success not guaranteed at the next level with Jackson Holliday being the most recent case study. That being said, the Jays slugger has been doing all the right things to trend toward a call-up later this year. He has decreased his strikeout rate (21.5%) out of the gate, is capitalizing on mistake pitches and is making better swing decisions, evidenced by his recent success and ability to adjust after the slow start to begin the season.

Martinez’s path to the Majors also hit a snag yesterday when the Blue Jays promoted equally impressive Bisons teammate Addison Barger to the big leagues with Kevin Kiermaier heading to the IL. Barger will be playing mostly in the outfield but can also suit up at third base, with the Jays opting for the 24-year-old over Martinez at this time.

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For now, Martinez will likely continue toiling away in the Minors at least for the next little bit as there is no clear role for him on the big league squad barring an injury or trade to another Blue Jays roster member. Davis Schneider, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Cavan Biggio have been splitting time at second base while Justin Turner is the club’s bonafide DH, creating a logjam for Martinez to receive regular at-bats. It is highly unlikely the Jays would promote him just to fulfill a bench role, so for the time being, he will continue to play in Buffalo.

Should he continue to hit mammoth home runs and the Blue Jays are still producing fewer than five runs a game, the club could move some pieces around for a new bat to bring a charge of energy similar to the Davis Schneider call-up last August.

A few bats are doing well in Buffalo and Orelvis Martinez is one name to keep an eye on for a promotion to fill that gap should it be required sooner rather than later.