Orelvis Martinez Fantasy Baseball Breakdown

Breaking down Orelvis Martinez for dynasty fantasy baseball

One of the more polarizing prospects in baseball had an excellent 2023 season. Orelvis Martinez has as much power as anybody but defensive limitations and contact issues have caused many in the dynasty community to fade him in their rankings. Martinez is getting work all over the infield as the Jays are quickly realizing they might need to lean on his bat early on in 2024.

Also, be sure to head over to the Pitcher List Dynasty page to check out more content from the team.


Orelvis Martinez: The Power Bat You Need to Know About


Who is Orelvis Martinez?


2023 Stats (AA/AAA): 538 PA | .243 AVG | .340 OBP | .496 SLG | 28 HR | 2 SB | 23.4 K% | 12.5 BB%

Orelvis Martinez signed with the Blue Jays as an international free agent back in 2018. The Jays made signing Martinez their top priority, handing him a $3.5 million bonus during that period. Although not particularly big, Martinez’s raw athleticism and power stood out amongst other international free agents that season. Coming from the Dominican Republic, he received lofty comparisons to another DR great: Adrián Béltre.

The Jays wasted no time bringing Martinez stateside starting him off in rookie ball as a 17-year-old. Being one of the youngest players at each level has become a consistent theme throughout Martinez’s professional career. His age has not been a deterrent to success though as he has proven himself to be an offensive force in Toronto’s system. He came out of the pandemic looking like a true slugger reaching at least 28 home runs in each of the three years since. His career wRC+ sits at an impressive 118. After starting last year repeating Double-A, Martinez was promoted to Triple-A and is now knocking on the door of the major leagues. Questions remain surrounding Martinez’s hit tool, but his offensive development during the 2023 season has many excited to see what he can do in 2024.


Orelvis Martinez’s Hit Tool


Martinez’s hit tool has been a point of controversy for a few seasons now. Originally believed to be a future average tool, Martinez has struggled to post decent batting averages since his time in Low-A. The low point for Martinez’s average came in 2022 when he hit just .203 as a 20-year-old in Double-A. Part of his struggles are self-explanatory. During the 2022 season, Martinez was an average of 3.9 years younger than the competition he was facing. The more advanced talent of Double-A was able to exploit holes in Martinez’s swing that others were unable to. The rest takes a little bit more digging.

With power like Martinez’s (more on this to come), it is easy to understand the purpose behind hitting a lot of fly balls. More fly balls equals more home runs which is what he was selling out for. The other thing that a lot of fly balls tend to lead to is a low BABIP. Martinez hit a fly ball 51% of the time in 2022 and his BABIP sat at a dreadful .218. BABIP is more of a skill stat than people like to give it credit for, but it is also a lot of luck. Most people consider the league-average BABIP to be around .300 with that number often sitting even higher in the minor leagues. His swing path could certainly use some work, but also Martinez was experiencing some poor luck.

The 2023 season started out with more of the same. Martinez was hitting too many fly balls and was batting .089 with a .055 BABIP on May 9th last season. This low point is where Martinez seemed to turn his season around. His line drive rate slowly increased while his fly ball rate came down. From May 10th through his promotion to Triple-A on July 14th, Martinez hit .294 with a modest .306 BABIP. The improvements to his batted ball distribution stuck through his promotion as he posted a sweet spot percentage of 34.4% and a line drive rate over 25%. Martinez is never going to be a player with a .330 BABIP, but he should maintain one close to the league average solving one of his hit tool concerns.

The other concern, and the one Martinez still needs to figure out, is the strikeouts. Swing and miss has been a big issue for Martinez throughout his professional career. He has never posted a swinging strike rate below 15% at any level of the minor leagues. While his plate discipline and understanding of the strike zone have improved, his ability to make consistent contact has not. This was a major issue during his brief Triple-A stint to end 2023. More specifically, the issue comes with making contact on non-fastballs. His swinging strike rate against fastballs was just 8.8%. This number jumped to 24.4% against non-fastballs.

Where things stand right now, Martinez’s hit tool profiles as slightly below average. Some of the concerns from last off-season have been put to rest which eases some of his projection variance. His newfound ability to hit line drives should help give him a stable floor in the batting average department. However, his swing-and-miss issues could lead to high strikeout rates adding risk. His long-term projection likely sits in the .240-.260 range which is a significant improvement from the projections placed him a year ago.


Orelvis Martinez’s Power


This is where Martinez is going to generate significant fantasy value. Since signing back in 2018, he has added significant muscle to his 5’11” frame which has aided his home run production. As mentioned before, Martinez has a swing path designed to launch balls out of the park. He gets excellent lift on the ball and prioritizes hitting fly balls. Dynasty managers do not need to worry about the increase in line drives taking away from his home run totals. From May 10th forward, Martinez still slugged .545 with 24 home runs. This pace would still be good enough for 39 home runs across 600 plate appearances.

In addition to hitting plenty of fly balls, Martinez generates additional power in multiple other ways. First off, is his innate ability to pull the ball. Martinez has maintained pull rates of over 50% throughout his professional career. He has consistently barreled the ball up and pulling the ball has helped boost his true game power. Martinez also features a large leg kick which helps him add even more pop. His home run per fly ball rates have been consistently above the major league average which profiles to translate well to the major leagues.

Martinez’s big leg kick can be concerning to some, but his improving awareness helps eliminate that. Martinez ditches the leg kick entirely in two-strike counts and shortens up to make more contact. In addition, his plate discipline has improved significantly which bodes well for his power outlook. Early on, Martinez struggled to lay off pitches out of the strike zone giving pitchers an easy plan of attack. By laying off junk pitches, Martinez forces pitchers to come over the heart of the zone more often giving him even more pitches to crush.

While Martinez’s hit tool profiles to be slightly below average, his power is a definite plus. He has the ceiling to reach 40 home runs and projects to hit at least 25 even in a down season.


Orelvis Martinez’s Fantasy Baseball Outlook


Defense is often deemed irrelevant for fantasy baseball. This is one of the differences between dynasty and redraft formats. For dynasty managers, tracking a prospect’s defensive skills and positional eligibility is vital to building a team. Defensive skills greatly determine how quickly a player can make it to the major leagues. In addition, a player’s long-term position can drastically alter their fantasy value. In Martinez’s case, he has primarily played shortstop throughout his professional career, but a move to third base seems most likely. The team has come out this spring and noted that they plan for him to work primarily at second base. The added eligibility could benefit fantasy managers early on in his career. This could be the quickest path to the major leagues for Martinez.

The good news for fantasy managers is that Martinez’s power is impressive enough to play at any position. Martinez has the raw power to be an impactful fantasy bat at third base with 30+ home run potential. If he can improve his defense and stick at second base, that kind of power would be a game-changer at the position. Mookie Betts and Ozzie Albies were the only second basemen who hit 30+ home runs last season. Martinez could join the two of those and become a top option at the position.

The Blue Jays have obvious holes in their lineup at both second and third base. Davis Schneider is coming off a strong 2023 season, but heavy regression is expected in 2024. Assuming Matt Chapman does not return, Cavan Biggio and Santiago Espinal are expected to split time at third base even with the signing of Justin Turner. Fantasy managers should expect Martinez to get the call early on in 2024 to add more thump to Toronto’s lineup. His history with high strikeout rates means there is a high likelihood that Martinez will take some time to adjust to Major League pitching. His early career could look a lot like what we saw from Austin Riley. Dynasty managers should be patient with Martinez and temper expectations for this season. The long-term outlook is a 35-home-run bat with a .250ish batting average.


Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Aaron Asbury (@aarongifs on Instagram)

One response to “Orelvis Martinez Fantasy Baseball Breakdown”

  1. Alan Stoltz says:

    Looking forward to seeing how Orelvis Martinez will do. He seems to be the type of hitter that “figures out” things as he grows.

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