Monday, October 5, 2015

Out In Front: The Eddy Martinez Signing + Something Extra

In a pretty surprising fashion, the Giants, yes, the Giants, not the Dodgers, the Reds, and any other team, the Giants, signed Eddy Julio Martinez, the Cuban outfielder who has been flying off the radar since July 2, with Jesse Sanchez of first to report and Mr. ogc first to notify me. 

Martinez signed for $2.5 million, waaaaay less than what I have predicted, Kiley McDaniel of FG and pretty much everybody had expected which is $10-11 million. I was pretty shocked to see him sign to the Giants for so cheap when the Dodgers can offer him triple of quadruple that amount of green stuff. It is even less then half of the money that the Giants paid for Bahamanian prospect Lucius Fox (enough with the Batman puns) of $6 million, penalties not included. I followed Eddy on his Twitter account for about a week ago or so when it was still got like 10-20 followers (MLB Pipeline followed him 2 days ago if I'm not mistaken), and I noticed that you look closely on his profile picture, he's donning the Giants workout shirt and Giants workout shorts, which is some premonition that the Giants are probably the favorites to sign the Cuban defector but there's also the cover photo of him donning a Pirates shirt but reports weren't saying that the Pirates are players for him so there's that. 

I have written a previous scouting report on him before and here's what I said on him.

"Martinez looks really physical and athletic in my eyes and what I'll call a prototypical athletic body that's really meant for baseball. He got good big muscles in arms, broad shoulders, and good torso and I don't really see a need to fill up his body even more. As Kiley said in his thoughts for him, he's cleaned up his frame a bit since leaving Cuba and also added more power and speed. He got the frame that I can say that will generate close to 20 homers a season in the Majors.

He stands pretty tall in the batters box and his feet are separated almost as long as one and one-half of the length of his shoulders while his hands are quiet at the same level as his head. He got a more conventional swing than Lucius Fox in terms of his back leg which is straight while Fox is more crooked in his back leg. In my opinion, that allows Eddy Julio to load onto his back leg more and generate the most power that he can. He loads into his back leg well thanks to his pretty big leg kick. His hands also load well, getting into a nice position to swing that it's pretty far back from his body. What I love about Eddy Julio is that he gets to a nice crouched position that allows him to get to a really good center of gravity when he starts his swing, causing a good explosion of his potential energy to be converted to kinetic energy to his bat. Several legitimate sluggers do this too like Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols. His swing path is good and is pretty compact that's more of a line-drive swing than a homer-or-nothing swing as Kiley said that he's more contact-oriented approach that the Giants truly love in the recent years. His bat speed is good thanks to his superb athleticism and he can translate his raw power into loud contact pretty well. He got a stiff front foot in his swing with a one-handed finish. Eddy Julio's batting stance is quite similar to Alex Rodriguez when he's still young. 

He is a plus runner in the bases and will always be a threat to steal bases whenever he's on (probably 30+ bases in the Majors) and that will translate range well in his defensive range. His arm is good for CF and he's still got an adequate arm to play in the corner OF slots when he's needed to do so pair that with his plus defensive potential thanks to his speed and instincts. The Andruw Jones comparisons for me are pretty overblown but his superb athleticism and hard-nosed attitude plus the five-tool potential earns a lot of high remarks for me. The Dodgers are going to be the main problem for us, but stealing this type of talent him away from them is gonna be so, so sweet.

My Grades: Hit 50+ | Power 50+ | Speed 65 | Arm 55+ | Glove 60

Ceiling: Possible All-Star OF     Floor: 4th OF bat/defense     ETA: Late 2017/2018"

My first reaction when I read it was wow. Literally. Another injection of great talent to our farm system! And we get him for this cheap? What the hell are the Dodgers doing? Are they getting pretty lazy these days and not signing nonchalantly like they always do? I know they got Andrew Freidman and Farhan Zaidi, two of the greatest minds in baseball, as the people who are running their front office but how can they pass up on him given their knack for hoarding Cubans with their bottomless check book? They are not going to sign a big name international player for the next two years like the Giants (unless the new CBA forgives the teams if ever an international draft will happen) and they are going to be definitely out of the race for next year's international superstar-in-the-making Kevin Maitan (in which I think the Braves are going to pounce on) so there's no good reason to think that they're just going to sit this season out right? I asked Kiley McDaniel on his chat on who's the better player of more exactly, who got the higher ceiling between Martinez and Yusniel Diaz, another Cuban outfielder that I think the Dodgers are going to place their money and Kiley preferred Martinez based on their tools and their future potential value. 

Maybe the Dodgers saw something that made Martinez not that appealing to them anymore which is something that will probably will be exposed. For the Giants, THIS IS A GREAT SIGNING. The Giants finally have an outfielder fitted in the top 5 of the organization! And to get him for this cheap? Man, what a sign! What a job by Booby Evans and Brian Sabean bringing him on board for the Gigantes! We are finally becoming players on the international market, starting from the Lucius Fox signing, now we are here! The Giants have added another young, athletic kid that will help gain respect from the baseball world! The ceiling may not be being a superstar for Eddy Julio, but he's young, looks like going to be a fast mover in the Minors with still some time to shake off some rust in the gear cogs but once he's ready to go, I can see him cruise to the minor league system! 

Speaking of cruising in the minor league system, thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts of Baseball Prospectus, here's the contract situation of the Giants in the roster this year. If you want to see the link, click here.

My picture was pretty blurry but you'll see every projection. Duffy and Panik will stay in the Major League club for the next 5 years or so. I project top prospect Christian Arroyo to be in the Major Leagues in late-2016/2017, either in this organization or not we do not know, but I'm assuming that he is on the Giants, Lucius Fox that's I'm projecting to arrive at around 2019 or so and Eddy Julio that I'm projecting to arrive at 2018. Here are the possible scenarios that I can see for the future (2017/2018) given that Brandon Crawford will or will not sign an extension for the Giants (in which I can see that they will not probably going to do).

- If Crawford will not sign an extension together with Nori Aoki after his contract year, us not signing Jason Heyward or another star OF in the offseason and everything goes into place, I can see Christian Arroyo taking over SS, replacing Crawford, Eddy Martinez patrolling CF (now, now, I know Blanco should patrol CF but he'll be 33 and looks like should be patrolling LF in the future) once he arrives and if Fox will be converted to OF because of little to no room in the IF (it's so loaded) and it should be noted that he fits really well in CF, Eddy Julio will be moved to either corner OF spots, preferrably LF. The ideal scenario.

- If Fox will not be moved from his original SS position and Arroyo will be moved to 3B where his arm fits well, it will create a havoc between him and The Duffman and if you move Arroyo to 2B, there's Joe Panik to hold the fort so the logical thing to do if this hold is to trade him (to which I'll get really furious) and Eddy Julio will patrol CF.

- If Fox will be moved to 2B and Arroyo stays at SS, the logical thing is to trade Panik (to which I'll get furious too) and have a middle IF combination of Arroyo-Fox and have Eddy Julio patrol CF.

- If the Giants sign another star corner OFer, possibly Heyward (to which I'm going to be disappointed because the club needs pitching, pitching, pitching) and the ideal scenario is followed, Pence will leave the club after his contract expires and the Giants will have a pretty formidable OF with Eddy-Fox-Heyward given that everything goes into plan. I'll be pretty sad for Mac Williamson not having any spot in the OF.

- If Crawford signs an extension however, it will be a hard time to find Arroyo a spot in the MIF and the only thing to do is to trade a guy that deserves an everyday spot in the field given he develops as planned and move Fox to CF with Eddy Julio moving to LF.

That's just projections and a lot of factors will come to play in the coming years of their development but I'm already giving my thoughts on what will happen in the future. 

Nonetheless, Eddy Julio Martinez is a great sign for the Giants and a great sign in the right direction for the front office and there's a lot more great talents leaving the country of Cuba (I expect the Giants to also make a run on Cuban RHP Vladimir Gutierrez and should be in the running for other prospects including Japanese RHP Kenta Maeda if ever Maeda's club will ever plan to post him). 

Baseball America doesn't consider Martinez a premium prospect especially with the quality of prospects leaving the country and has left before (knock, knock, Yoan Moncada) but the Giants haven't been collecting superstar prospects or superstar players to win 3 titles (knock, knock, Dodgers and Red Sox), instead, they are complementing their already superstars (the MadBum and Posey battery) with solid, nice complements that are even exceeding expectations (knock, knock, our infield of Belt, Panik, Crawford and Duffy). The one minor bad knack on the Giants farm is that the system hasn't produced good OF prospects recently (knock, knock, Gary Brown) but if the Giants develop Eddy Julio well, we'll be having a future mainstay in the outfield as well as in the lineup with his five tools going to be in full display, he can be an All-Star or two in the future but his present talents already warrants him to be a defensive replacement in the Majors. If the bat's legit, then this is a great, great, great bargain for the Giants. 

Something Extra

- I would like to congratulate the whole Giants for having a great season, even though the club missed the playoffs. The club didn't give up until the end and what a fantastic season for a lot of guys (Duffy, Posey, MadBum) and they have proven to develop prospects and exceeded their expectations thanks to what Bam Bam and Righetti has done to a lot of players when they reached the Majors. As long as their principles are going to be taught in the future generations of Giants, the system will continue to be a well-oiled machine. Great job to the minor league coaches too for developing the prospects' mental standpoint, preparing their mind and body for the biggest stage.

- ICYMI, even though I am away and not tweeting or blogging for the longest time, I'm still keeping updates. Here, in the League Top 20 Prospects Index of BA, I asked a lot regarding the Giants and thankfully, every question has been answered by the hosts of the chat.

First, here's me asking Bill Mitchell regarding two of the well known prospects that went to the AZL.

I missed the NWL chat and I plan to ask about Chris Shaw but the internet here blacked out. Here's me asking Jim Shonerd about Christian Arroyo.

I asked JJ Cooper about Sam Coonrod but unfortunately, the chat got taken down for no reason.

Here's the end of the Eddy Julio Martinez signing and I'm expecting the Giants to be major players moving forward in the market in the offseason with the #EvenYear. I hope you have enjoyed reading it! 


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