Fisher Cats' Orelvis Martinez, 20, focuses on consistency

·3 min read

Aug. 14—MANCHESTER — Orelvis Martinez admits this has not been his best season.

But it has been a beneficial one for Martinez, the Toronto Blue Jays' No. 2-ranked prospect.

Martinez, who in 2018 was given a $3.5 million bonus when he was signed by the Blue Jays, is in his first Double-A and second full minor-league season. He owned a .215 batting average with 25 home runs, 64 RBIs, 47 runs scored, six stolen bases and 24 walks entering the New Hampshire Fisher Cats' home game against Erie on Friday night.

He ranked second in the Eastern League in home runs and tied for fifth in RBIs. His batting average ranked 56th in the league among eligible players. The Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, native also led the Fisher Cats in home runs and RBIs.

"This is a league that forces you to learn — learn in a good way or in a bad way," Martinez said via a translator before the Fisher Cats' 5-1 loss to Erie at Delta Dental Stadium on Thursday.

Martinez, 20, said this season has taught him the importance of being consistent both at the plate and in the infield and his teammates have helped him mature as a player. Through Thursday, he had played 31 games at third base, 50 at shortstop and nine as a designated hitter this season.

Martinez, ranked by MLB.com as the No. 33 prospect in the minor leagues, batted .188 with six home runs in April, .244 with eight home runs in May, .221 with three home runs in June and .211 with seven home runs last month. Over New Hampshire's first eight August games, Martinez batted .258 (8-for-31) with a home run, four RBIs and three runs scored.

Between his time in Low-A Dunedin (71 games) and High-A Vancouver (27 games) last year, Martinez logged a .261 batting average with 28 home runs, 87 RBIs, 66 runs scored, four stolen bases and 43 walks.

The right-handed batter said he is working with Fisher Cats hitting coach Matt Hague on making adjustments based on what pitches pitchers have been using most against him. Martinez, who looked up to former Boston Red Sox great Manny Ramirez as a kid, credited his home run output this year to seeing the ball well at the plate and the time he has put in.

"All that hard work you put in is what makes and allows those things to happen," he said. "That's the most important foundation for that."

Martinez, whose family has visited and seen him play twice in New Hampshire, said he feels good about how he has played in the infield this year and is focusing on improving his footwork. He helped turn 27 double plays and made 12 errors over his first 81 games in the infield this season.

"I have been working pretty hard on my defense to continue improving it and I can see that on the field," Martinez said.

With a little more than a month left in the season, Martinez said he is focused on staying consistent.

"Now, it's just continue playing every day — going every day to the field and doing my best," Martinez said. "That's the goal."

ahall@unionleader.com