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Breaking Pitches Carry Corbin Martin To Double-A

Last year at this time, scouts wondered if Texas A&M righthander Corbin Martin could survive as a starter in pro ball.

Not only has the 22-year-old survived—he has thrived.

When Martin joined Corpus Christi in early May, he became the second 2017 draft pick to reach Double-A, joining Angels righthander Griffin Canning.

Though a rough first outing in the Texas League could have harmed Martin's psyche, the second-rounder got back on track quickly. His progress has been remarkable in light of the fact he worked primarily as a reliever in college until his draft year.

Assigned to high Class A Buies Creek on Opening Day, Martin required only one month in the Carolina League. He punched out 26 in 19 innings before his promotion, showcasing two plus offspeed pitches—a slider and curveball—that made him a desirable draftee.

Martin made his Double-A debut in Corpus Christi, three hours from his hometown of Hempstead, Texas, but the homecoming vibe wore off quickly. He recorded one out, allowing five hits and six earned runs in one-third of an inning before he was lifted.

In the 13.1 innings since, Martin permitted three runs and 10 hits while striking out 11.

"Corbin just continues to improve,” farm director Pete Putila said. "He came to us with a couple plus offspeed offerings. His command was maybe a little shaky in college, but he’s doing a lot of work. He really just continues to improve.”

Part of Martin's work entails harnessing his fastball, which hovers around 92 mph, so that it complements the two breaking pitches he’s able to mix.

"I think he’ll continue to learn and grow," Putila said. "He knows what he needs to work on, but I look forward to see what he can do (at Double-A).”


Prospect Report: Hunter Brown Rolls Again

Hunter Brown continues to be the dominant pitcher of the Pacific Coast League with another excellent outing.

>> Righthander Forrest Whitley, the system's top prospect, remains in West Palm Beach, Fla., as he trains at the Astros’ spring training facility. He is "taking it slow,” according to general manager Jeff Luhnow. The club is trying to conserve innings for Whitley, who is nearing the end of his 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug prevention and treatment program.

>> Triple-A Fresno righthander Francis Martes required an MRI that ruled out any ligament damage after he had reported elbow soreness. Martes walked 17 batters in his first 18.2 innings before having the test in Houston. He was back to playing catch with "no issues” on May 15.

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