And just like that, Fernando Martinez was gone. Today, the Houston Astros officially claimed recently-waived former-Mets prospect, Fernando Martinez. You can read all about his history with the team here, or a more condensed blurb after the jump.
Back in 2005, the Mets signed a young outfielder by the name of Fernando Martinez. At the tender age of sixteen, Martinez was heralded as the next great Mets outfielder; a reason to hope for the future. Since then, it seems like Mets fans have been hearing about Martinez as he’s plodded through the system. Finally, in 2009, F-Mart made his big league debut, and fell flat on his face. He received another short stint in 2010, which wasn’t any better. All the while, Martinez has battled injuries nearly every season, hampering his development. Such was the case in 2011.
Martinez only played in 11 games at the Major League level this year over two stints, taking the roster spot of players who landed on the disabled list. Only four of those appearances were starts, and he only recorded 23 plate appearances, so this year’s sample size is very small. F-Mart recorded five hits in 2011, including two doubles and a homer, walking once and striking out seven times. The long ball was a pinch-hit shot against the Astros in Houston which helped the team rally from behind.
The fact that Martinez didn’t receive a lot of playing time in the bigs isn’t that concerning, since the plan going into this year was to have him spend most of it at triple-A Buffalo. The bigger concern was that injuries continued to sideline the former top prospect the entire season, including a hamstring strain in April, knee soreness in June, and a left wrist strain in August, which ended his year. For such a young player, the volume of injuries is disconcerting, especially the leg troubles.
When he was in the lineup, however, Martinez did okay. For instance, in 250 plate appearances with the Bisons, Martinez batted .260/.329/.417 with eight homers, 18 walks and 60 strikeouts. Yet–even at age 23–Martinez’s former “top prospect” status has gone dry. Heck, with the amount of injuries and ineffectiveness he’s endured, he’s not even a “prospect.” For these reasons, his placement on waivers makes sense. We can only wish him the best of luck with the Houston Astros–but not too much luck (we don’t want to feel like we gave up on him too soon).