Saints Sign Former Fourth Round Pick, Catcher Jeremy Martinez
ST. PAUL, MN - The St. Paul Saints pitchers officially have someone to throw to behind the plate. With the first workout taking place on Saturday, May 4 manager George Tsamis found the catcher he wanted that carries a solid resume behind the dish, signing former All-Star catcher Jeremy Martinez.
The 24-year-old Martinez spent most of last season at Double-A Springfield in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. He hit .237 with five home runs and 18 RBI in 58 games. In 173 at bats he scored 19 runs, had six doubles, a .315 on base percentage, and a .358 slugging percentage. More importantly, however, was his defense where he threw out 39.5% of base stealers (15-38) and had just two errors and two passed balls. He was promoted to Triple-A Memphis on May 12 and spent two weeks there and hit .235 with two RBI in six games.
Martinez was originally drafted in the 37th round by the Chicago Cubs out of Mater Dei (CA) High School in 2013, but elected to go to the University of Southern California. He was then taken in the fourth round by the Cardinals in 2016 where he had an impressive season. He spent the whole year with the State College Spikes and hit .325 with a home run and 32 RBI in 57 games. In 194 at bats he scored 28 runs, slugged 14 doubles, two triples, had a .419 on base percentage, and a .433 slugging percentage. Those numbers earned him a selection to the New York-Penn League All-Star Game. He finished first in the New York-Penn League in on base percentage, lowest total plate appearances per strikeout (14.69), and second in batting average. Martinez led the league in throwing out base runners with an impressive 45.9% clip (17-37). He helped the Spikes win the League Championship and was named a Baseball America Short-Season All-Star.
In 2017 Martinez spent most of the season at High-A Palm Beach where he hit .189 with 15 RBI in 60 games. He also spent a game at Springfield and a game in Memphis. Once again, he was on the money throwing out base runners to the tune of 44.2% (23-52). During his three-year career Martinez has thrown out 42.0% of base stealers.
Martinez had a prolific career at powerhouse Mater Dei where he was the 2010 MaxPreps National Freshman of the Year and the MaxPreps National Junior of the Year in 2012. During his senior season he was selected to the MaxPreps 1st Team Large School All-State and was rated the Top Player in ESPN's Top 60.
While at USC he was a Johnny Bench Award semi-finalist during his junior season, the award given to college baseball's top catcher. In his career at USC, Martinez struck out just 43 times and for his professional career he has struck out just 71 times in 688 total plate appearances, 10.3%. According to Fangraphs a percentage of 10% is considered excellent.
The Saints have signed 18 players this off-season.
RHP Landon Beck
RHP Mitch Brown
RHP Mike Devine
LHP Ken Frosch
LHP Jordan Jess
RHP Spencer Jones
RHP Jake Matthys
RHP Eddie Medina
RHP Todd Van Steensel
C Jeremy Martinez
INF Josh Allen
INF Devon Rodriguez
INF Blake Schmit
INF Joey Wong
INF Chesny Young
OF Dan Motl
OF Max Murphy
OF Burt Reynolds
The Saints begin the 2019 season with a 10-game homestand. Opening Day is Thursday, May 16 at 7:05 p.m. against the newest member of the Milwaukee Milkmen.
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