Originally written on The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog  |  Last updated 11/28/11

#35 Carlos Martinez

St. Louis Cardinals

DOB: 9/21/1991

Previous Rank: N/R

ETA: 2014

The Cardinals have a very solid system, and starting pitching is probably where it shines the brightest.  As a 19-year-old across two stops including 10 starts in the FSL, Martinez finished the year with a sub-4.00 ERA and 98 strikeouts in only 84.2 innings pitched.  He also managed to hand out 44 free passes, but there is always reason to be optimistic about a 19-year-old with that kind of strikeout ability.

Year Age Tm Lg Lev W L ERA G GS CG IP BB SO 2010 18 Cardinals DOSL FRk 3 2 0.76 12 12 1 59.0 14 78 2011 19 2 Teams 2 Lgs A+-A 6 5 3.93 18 18 0 84.2 44 98 2011 19 Quad Cities MIDW A 3 2 2.33 8 8 0 38.2 14 50 2011 19 Palm Beach FLOR A+ 3 3 5.28 10 10 0 46.0 30 48 2 Seasons 9 7 2.63 30 30 1 143.2 58 176 Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table Year Age Tm Lg Lev W L ERA IP WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB 2010 18 Cardinals DOSL FRk 3 2 0.76 59.0 0.712 4.3 0.2 2.1 11.9 5.57 2011 19 2 Teams 2 Lgs A+-A 6 5 3.93 84.2 1.417 8.1 0.3 4.7 10.4 2.23 2011 19 Quad Cities MIDW A 3 2 2.33 38.2 1.060 6.3 0.2 3.3 11.6 3.57 2011 19 Palm Beach FLOR A+ 3 3 5.28 46.0 1.717 9.6 0.4 5.9 9.4 1.60 2 Seasons 9 7 2.63 143.2 1.128 6.5 0.3 3.6 11.0 3.03 Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table

Martinez throws blazing hard, hitting triple digits on occasion and sitting in the mid- to high-90s.  He is only 6-foot and 165-pounds, but there actually might be an inch or two left in him if his Dominican birth certificate is accurate.  Martinez secondary stuff has a ways to go, but at times he flashes 60s with both his change and breaker.  The changeup has a little fade to it, and the breaking ball is the downer type with good pace and shape.  He slows his arm a lot at times with both offerings, and both flatten out when he does, but the Cardinals are magicians when it comes to young righties and their secondary stuff.

Considering that Martinez only will only need to fill the role of a third starter in St. Louis given the presence of Adam Wainwright already atop the rotation and Shelby Miller knocking at the Busch gates, the St. Louis pitching staff should be elite for much of the decade.  If his command can improve during the next couple of years, Martinez could find himself within the top-10 here at The Sombrero as early as 2013.

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