Still not 25 and an assumed prospect flop, Fernando Martinez was always too hurt to ever achieve the potential that scouts saw in his first four minor league seasons. Met fans grew accustomed to his name being on the list of their top 10 prospects and began to assume it was inevitable that he’d be patrolling right field by now.
As we all know, that was not the case. Fernando began to have injury problems (including arthritis) that limited his speed, range and yearly at bats. 2011 was the final straw for the Mets who could no longer spare the room on their 40-man roster to hold onto Fernando as he struggled to find the spark that excited fans earlier in his career.
Martinez left New York and wound up catching on with the Houston Astros. It is an old baseball adage that sometimes all a player needs is a change of scene… why does that adage have to be true now?
Through 38 HEALTHY games of 2012, Fernando Martinez has contributed to his Oklahoma City team with a .318 AVG, .520 SLG and a .895 OPS. Those are the type of numbers that you can look at in AAA and start to wonder when he’s going to be given a spot on the major league ball club. His 7 HRs and 30 RBI put him among the leaders in the PCL and Met fans have to ask themselves… did we give up on Fernando too soon?
When the Mets put Fernando Martinez on waivers, I assumed that they were checking on interest. See if there were still clubs who wanted him and might consider a pseudo-prospect swap. Instead… the Mets felt it was more important to protect Brad Holt from being nabbed… I guess. Martinez went to the Astros for the one-time price of FREE and the Astros can’t be too unhappy with this sort of return.
As a Met fan, who do you blame? Do you blame Sandy Alderson and company for not giving Fernando another chance? The Met’s medical staff (which was trained by Joseph Mengele)? The Wilpons for creating a situation where the savings of a high priced minor leaguer was seen as helping the team’s bottom line?
No. I blame the New York fan for this one. We are the reason that Fernando Martinez is gone. We couldn’t sit idly by while a prospect finally reached the average age for the level of the minors he had reached. We expected results… years ago. I saw tons of comments from bloggers and fans calling Fernando a “Never-Was” and that he was “Washed Up” at the age of 23. I mean… the Pacific Coast League helps too… but still. We need to be less critical of prospects who don’t immediately display major-league talent. Or else we might give Brandon Nimmo a drinking problem before he can legally drink.