Baseball Roots Give Guardians’ Angel Martinez A Leg Up

Middle infielder Angel Martinez isn’t the most physically imposing prospect in the Guardians’ system. But for a kid who is growing into his body, has a high baseball IQ and all the intangibles that come from growing up in a baseball family, he’s an intriguing player who is opening eyes.

The son of eight-year big league catcher Sandy Martinez, Angel is a 20-year-old, 6-foot, 165-pound switch-hitter.

This season he will likely open with High-A Lake County, at a position to be determined. It could be second base, shortstop or third base. He has plus range, but his arm strength is a work in progress.

“His best position now is probably second base, but as his arm gets stronger—and we’ve seen some growth in that—it will probably be shortstop,” Guardians assistant general manager James Harris said. “He has good bat-to-ball skills and he’s growing into a little bit of power.”

Signed out of the Dominican Republic for $500,000 in 2018, Martinez debuted in the Dominican Summer League in 2019. He played at instructional league in 2020.

Last season he hit .241/.319/.382 with seven home runs in 97 games for Low-A Lynchburg last season, but the Guardians believe power will come.

“He’s still a young guy,” Harris said. “When he first came to us, he was 140 pounds. But now that he’s starting to grow into his body, he’s hitting the ball a little harder. And he’ll continue to improve as he gets a little older.”

Martinez’s baseball background also gives him a leg up.

“Being from a baseball family, the first thing he understands is how the game is played, so he’s aware of how things happen and can anticipate before they happen,” Harris said. “It’s evident that he and his dad and family talk about the game a lot.

“He plays with a huge smile, so you can tell he enjoys playing. He has a passion for it. Has a little bit of flare. He’ll be out there with three gold chains and some stylish hair, but he loves every aspect of the game.”

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