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kane county cougars logoThe Cubs confirmed yesterday that Jonathan Martinez is the player to be named later from the Dodgers. So, what do we know about him?

At twenty, he is on target age-wise for the Midwest League, and his numbers are pretty good in spots. The K/BB ratio of 4.79 is very good, and it is product of both a moderately high K rate (7.7 K/9) and a low walk rate (1.6 BB/9). Both of those are marked improvements over his performance in the same league last year.

He is allowing more hits this year (9.3 H/9 versus 8.8 last season), and those extra hits effectively wipe out his improvements in the walk category. The result is that his overall results are similar despite the big step up in strikeout rate.

Unfortunately, he is a pronounced fly ball pitcher. His GO/AO of 0.84 is much lower than I like to see, and even though he doesn’t give up many home runs despite that higher fly ball rate, I still do not see that low of a GO/AO being sustainable long term for any pitcher in the Cubs system. A ground ball is almost always a win for the pitcher, and the Cubs have appeared to focus on finding ground ball pitchers in recent years.

I suspect that means that the first thing Martinez will be doing when he joins the Cubs is learning how to get ground ball outs. That could be as easy as changing how he uses his pitches, and could be as complex as refining an existing pitch or teaching him a new one. I like the control he shows already, though, and I think there may be some upside here depending on what the Cubs can do to address his fly ball tendencies.

In terms of rankings, I slot him as fringe Top 40 material. He could appear in the 30s somewhere, but likely wouldn’t until he shows he can consistently induce grounders. I’ll need more data on him before I can say more than that with any kind of confidence.

Scores From Yesterday

Here are your scores from yesterday. May I direct your attention to the Iowa box scores? I think you will find them to be of a particularly fine vintage.

Other Notes

  • If you look at just one box score, make it this game from Iowa’s doubleheader. It contains a complete game shutout by Eric Jokisch, and a Jorge Soler bomb, and a Javier Baez bomb, and a pretty good game by Kris Bryant. As box scores go, it is a good one.
  • That amazing seventh inning rally that setup the walkoff win for Boise was pretty spiffy too.
  • Don’t forget that I will be at the Tennessee Smokies game tonight. Look for the black Bleacher Nation shirt, the short beard, and the fedora. If you happen to be in the area, be sure to swing by and say hi. I’ll be back on Friday as well.

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