In a system full of high-profile prospects, Adrian Martinez is emerging as a name to keep an eye on moving forward.
The Lake Elsinore Storm defeated the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 11-2 this Saturday, September 7th, to advance to the Class A- Advanced championship against the Vasilia Rawhide. Adrian Martinez stared the game for Lake Elsinore to add another feather in his cap to what has been a fantastic campaign.
The 22-year-old hurler threw five shutout innings, struck out six batters and allowed just one hit against Rancho Cucamonga. The Mexican pitcher has not received a lot of attention this season with all of the other prospects in the Padres’ system, including his fellow countryman Andres Munoz.
Martinez threw as high as 97 mph in his start along with a very nice slider as he received praise from Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser on Twitter after his start. Glaser said, “Adrian Martinez, comes out sitting 95-96, touch 97, with a dirty mid 80s slider for @Storm_Baseball. 22 y/o Mexican righthander has been a sleeper in the Padres system for a few years. Showing why tonight.”
The Mexicali native did not immediately burst to the scene as his success this season has been the result of years of hard work. Martinez never held an ERA under four until this season where he posted a 3.36 ERA in 32 games for Fort Wayne. The Mexican right-hander also posted a 1.200 WHIP along with 69 strikeouts and 22 walks in 75 innings with Fort Wayne.
The 22-year-old started five games with the Tin Caps before moving on to Lake Elsinore where he would allow just one run through six innings in his lone start with the team. The Mexican hurler struggled in the Mexican Pacific League with Aguilas de Mexicali, giving up seven earned runs in just six and two-thirds innings of work last season.
Martinez has come a long way since struggling with his hometown club and that all epitomized on Saturday night with his stellar performance against the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. It is unclear if Martinez will get a chance to start in the Cal League Championship Series against Vasilia, but it will be exciting to see more of the Mexicali native.
It is hard to believe that a pitcher like Martinez can go under the radar as he has- even with the tremendous year he has had in 2019. But in a farm system with pitchers like MacKenzie Gore, Luis Patino and Adrian Morejon it is bound to happen. If Martinez continues to grow as he has, it will not be long until he is a household name within the organization.