Casey Martin Stands Out In Minor League Camp
The Phillies showed their faith in Casey Martin when they went well above the $685,500 slot and signed him for $1.3 million from Arkansas in the third round of last year’s draft.
Now, after a stellar minor league camp, the 22-year-old shortstop opened the season at Low-A Clearwater.
“Very impressive,” Phillies farm director Josh Bonifay said. “Tremendous bat speed. If you leave a fastball over the dish, he’ll pop you. The bat is going to be there with more power as he matures.”
One rival scout said the ball jumps off the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Martin's bat. He noted Martin will need to make consistent contact to use his top-of-the-chart speed and baserunning skills.
“He’s electric when he gets on base,” Bonifay said. “He can turn a single into a triple. He looks to take the extra base. He can steal bases. He has tremendous instincts and explosiveness on the bases.
“We really liked his defense. He takes a ton of pride working on it and it’s really improved.”
Martin can play third base and second base and has the athleticism to play the outfield down the road. Luis Garcia, a 20-year-old shortstop signed from the Dominican Republic in 2017, is also on the Clearwater roster, so there will be opportunities for Martin to build versatility—something the Phillies value.
Martin projected as a first-rounder after hitting .345 with 13 homers, 49 RBIs and a .974 OPS as a freshman at Arkansas. His batting average fell and his strikeouts increased the next two seasons. The drop in production and an injury to his left hand that required surgery in the fall of 2019 gave some teams pause in the draft.
“We got a lot of looks at him his freshman year when he lit it up and we believe in the hit tool,” Phillies scouting director Brian Barber said. “We’re super excited to have him.
"He’s an exciting, quick-twitch athlete who is full of tools. Any time we can get middle-of-the-field players who competed at a high level like the (Southeastern Conference) with speed and power, we’re going to be in it.”
—Catcher Logan O'Hoppe and outfielder Johan Rojas were honored with the Bill Giles and Larry Rojas awards, respectively, for their work and performance in minor league camp. O'Hoppe opened at High-A Jersey Shore, Rojas at Low-A Clearwater.
—Outfield prospect Simon Muzziotti remains on the restricted list, unable to travel from Venezuela to the U.S. because of a visa issue. Muzziotti was a Florida State League all-star as a 20-year-old in 2019.