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.

16 comments on “Fernando Martinez thrives after being waived by Mets

  • holmer

    Here, here! Well said although I, who am usually very patient in such matters, was also starting to get frustrated with Fernando’s lack of production and was ready to let him go myself. New Yorkers seem to take in perverse pride in running people out of town or not giving them a chance. Baseball (or any sport for that matter) is hard enough and there is enough internal pressure to perform without people saying ad infinitum “he’s not a NewYawk kinda playa-he can’t handle the pressa.”

    • David Groveman

      I don’t think the pressure made him get hurt all the time. I think that the front office got tired of him… but I think letting him go was a mistake.

  • Doug Parker

    Glad to see that F-Mart is doing well, but I still suspect he may turn out to be more Alex Escobar than, say, Jay Payton…

    • David Groveman

      He might… but he also might turn into Jose Bautista…

  • Mack Ade

    good… he deserves both success and health

    • David Groveman

      Agreed… I think you recall that I was none too pleased when the move was announced.

  • jerseymet

    Glad for F Mart. This spring we were looking for a left hitting outfielder. Baxter has worked out well.

    • David Groveman

      Baxter has been great but Fernando could have been in AAA and maybe been traded for some pitching help with this strong start.

      • jerseymet

        He was let go to keep Carasco…

        • David Groveman

          Ouch… very ouch

  • Lee Andrew

    You’re certainly not wrong to criticize New York fans for not letting a prospect development (although that’s not a New York thing, that happens in all of baseball now, even the lowly Pirates have been angry with Pedro Alvarez) but I can’t agree they are to blame for Fernando “I refuse to call him F-Mart because that’s the dumbest sounding nickname ever” Martinez’s departure. Fans of every team are going to complain loudly about all aspects of the game. The front office’s job is to ignore them and make what they feel is the best decision. If the Mets gave up on Martinez because the fans were frustrated then the front office is a bunch of morons for letting fans decide what happens with one of their top prospects.

    • David Groveman

      Great point on Alvarez and fans in general. I wouldn’t put it past the front office to cave to fan pressure.

  • JimmyBX

    With all of Omar’s guys doing relatively well this season, it’s poetic justice that Balderson will be the dope who thought it was a good idea to allow their best prospect to walk away for nothing. This is a man who couldn’t find a prospect during his reign in San Diego. And his protege, the useless Paul DepodesTOOL, was equally awful on both the Dodgers and the Padres. Great future the Mets have with these two in charge of finding future players.

    • David Groveman

      I think it takes more time to analyze a GM’s drafting. I happen to think Omar was a pretty good guy on draft day.

      Omar was a pretty bad guy when it came time to negotiate contracts.

      We’ll need to give Alderson 2-3 more seasons before we know how he’s done. Leathersich, Fulmer and others are already looking like solid draft choices though.

  • Chris Walendin

    I was among those frustrated by this move when it happened. I couldn’t rationalize giving him up before he was out of options, while there were several other, better (IMO) DFA candidates. I’m a believer in protecting assets, especially when a team’s financially constrained, but I dunno, maybe there’s something to the idea of making a few moves to send a message or make a team your own, even if on paper they don’t necessarily look like the right ones. At this point, it’s hard not to give Sandy Alderson the benefit of the doubt when it comes to moves like these. But yeah, it’s a shame that now that he’s finally been healthy enough to let his ability begin to shine, he’s doing so in another team’s uniform.

  • Charlie Hangley

    I’m still skeptical. I still think Fernando is an injury waiting to happen, whatever his OPS and whatever uniform he’s wearing.

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