Sunday, April 17, 2016


We premiered KEEPING AN EYE ON THE FUTURE back in mid-March and with spring baseball in full swing, here are some other young stars we are watching as they make the trek from high school and college to the major leagues.  This month we look at two high school prospects who have put up some great numbers this season and one NCAA player who is making noise on the base paths in North Carolina.

First up is a shortstop from Riverside, CA, Shane Martinez.  The 6-1, 190 pound infielder will graduate John W. North High School later this spring and ship off to the University of Arizona this fall as one of their baseball commits.  Martinez was named to the Perfect Game Senior Preseason All-America Third Team in March. He is a four-year starter for the North Huskies batting .367 with a .936 OPS.  He received a 10 out of 10 ranking at his Perfect Game showcase this March.  Martinez is leading his Huskies to a 11-5 record this spring, topping the leader board in the team's division.  He is someone to keep an eye on as he heads to Arizona later this year.

Next up is 6-2 junior right handed pitcher from Nutley, NJ, Devin Ortiz.  Ortiz leads his St. Joseph Regional High School Green Knights in Montvale with a 6-1 record this season.  Ortiz pitched a winner last week against rival Bergen Catholic.  Going the distance, Ortiz gave up only two hits.  He is a hard throwing, upper 80s hurler ranked in the 98th percentile according to Perfect Game statistics.  According to "Ortiz finished the game with three strikeouts, showcasing his strong curveball and slider throughout. The standout pitcher also tossed with some serious gas." Ortiz has another year of high school baseball after this season but has committed to the University of Virginia following his graduation in 2017.

Finally, Wake Forest Demon Deacon infielding junior, Will Craig, continues to turn some heads and ranks 12th in the top-30 early prospect MLB draft for 2016.  "After hitting .280/.357/.439 with eight home runs over 54 games as a freshman, Craig kind of came out of nowhere and was one of the best hitters in the country this spring (2015). The 6’-3”, 230 pound right-hander hit .382/.496/.702 over 53 games with 20 doubles, 13 home runs and drew 41 walks to just 24 strikeouts earning him ACC Player of the Year honors in 2015," according to scouts. Already this spring, the first baseman is batting 442 (3rd in the nation) with 42 hits over 95 at bats.  He is second for slugging percentage, third in RBIs and fifth for on base percentage according NCAA statistics.  As I said to a Yankee fan today, we need to be hitting, putting the ball in play and capitalizing on opportunities to take the lead with runners in scoring position.  A lot of this kind of work comes from small ball hitting, which we can't do but Craig does really well.  He only has nine home runs on the season, but 44 RBIs.  This is the kind of guy we would be lucky to sign one day.  

These guys are all turning heads at various stages of their young careers and this is why we are keeping an eye on these prospects as they continue to battle their way into the minds of MLB scouts in the coming years. 

--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
BYB Hot Stove Columnist
Twitter: @suzieprof

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