When Scott Fennessy rolled a 33 on catcher Russ Martin against me at last weekend’s Illowa APBA League weekend, I cringed. I thought for sure, Russ banged out an rbi double. Fortunately for me, I had a B pitcher going and it was an out. My curiosity was piqued though and I asked to see his card and took the above photo.
This is not what I expected from a four-time All-Star. I had forgotten about Martin’s rough year with Toronto in 2016. This looks more like Yan Gomes’ 2016 card and not the former IAL first round pick.
To be fair, 2016 Russ Martin is a Catcher-9 which is a rarity. On top of that, he has four 14s and a 42 which even a Z pitcher can’t stop.
Yet somehow, rollers for Martin are to coax 20 homers from this card in 535 plate appearances and I’m not sure if they can do that. Martin’s .231 batting average will be easier to replicate if he faces more C and D pitchers rather than A or B pitchers since he has the 8-8-8-8-9-9 combination. That extra 8 will make the difference.
That said, Martin’s 31-36 and 51-38 are pretty painful.
Looking ahead, Martin’s numbers for 2017 (.223/.354/.381) are pretty similar to 2016 (.231/.335/.398) so don’t look for any drastic improvements on his card.