Mets’ Martinez Out Three Weeks

Fernando Martinez, the top prospect in the Mets organization, is is expected to miss three weeks with a strained right hamstring.

The Double-A Binghamton center fielder left Thursday’s game in the second inning after he injured his hamstring when he was thrown out trying to steal second base. Martinez, who at 19 is the youngest player in Double-A, is batting .280/.314/.408 in 37 games.

Despite his youth and significant potential, Martinez has had problems staying healthy since signing for $1.4 million out of the Dominican Republic in 2005. Last year Martinez suffered a right hand injury that hampered his performance before the Mets finally shut him down at the end of June, though he returned for three games in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League toward the end of the season. In 2006, his first professional season, Martinez missed time with a bone bruise in his hand and a knee sprain.