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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

1/11/24 : High Performance Camp - Day Four

Workouts continued this morning with more rounds of infield and outfield drills, catcher’s framing practices and pitchers throwing flat ground toss and catches with one another.  RHP Mick Abel threw an abbreviated short box (catcher receives the ball about three feet in front of the plate) to a coach off the side mound between Ashburn and Schmidt fields - about ten pitches or so focusing on mechanics and delivery with an intentionally far reduced velocity.  Was cool to see a pitcher back on the bump though 🤓.

Strength and conditioning plays a huge part in the player development process along with the physical maturation as each fella progresses.  LHP Jordi Martinez is an example of a young man we saw early in his career whose body configuration has changed noticeably with a lot of added strength.  He’s attending HP camp and looks even more buffed than this summer.  Jordi is now on the verge of pushing his way to the show - I found a photo my photographer buddy Mark Wylie took in 2019 Fall Instructs of him as compared to his much more muscular present frame - see the collage below.  He’s always had a great attitude and presence about him and has progressed to have a big league frame as well - very popular teammate and one of my favorites.

Here’s my notes on the lefty reliever that I wrote back on 11/9/23.

LHP Jordi Martinez - 23 years old - signed as an international free agent 1/22/18 - Santiago, Dominican Republic

2023 Stats :  appeared in 47 regular season games (57.1 IP) with Jersey Shore (39 games - 47.2 IP - 3.97 ERA) and Reading (8 games - 9.2 IP - 3.72 ERA) with 69 strikeouts and 29 walks.  Posted an overall WHIP of 1.45, averaged 17.34 pitches per inning pitched and had a 65 % strike ratio.  Had an outstanding month of June - 10 games - 1.35 ERA, 13.1 IP, 15 strikeouts and five walks.  In April posted a 2.57 ERA in 6 appearance (7 IP) with 12 strikeouts and two walks.  Was selected for the Arizona Fall League where he appeared in eight games.

2023 Notes : we first saw Jordi pitch in 2019 Fall Instructs and came away thinking “Wow” - ball seemed to jump out of his hand.  This year he converted to a full time reliever after making 34 starts in his first four years of play.  The changeover worked well.  The stuff we saw in 2019 still plays, features a fastball in the 93 to 97 range and has reached higher, a change up and hard slider.  Jordi was promoted to Reading from Jersey Shore on 8/19/23.  In 13 of his 47 games he pitched multiple innings.  He has incorporated more of his lower half in his delivery as I remember when we initially saw him it was a straight up style that seemingly would place more stress on the elbow, in fact he has lost time with arm issues in the past.  Coming out of the bullpen has allowed him to open the throttle on his pitches, the fastball velocity has always been something we’ve seen but not as consistent as this year.  Good stuff.  Potential big league bullpen piece who can be a multi inning weapon.

Pitching Coordinator Travis Hergert :  “He shifted roles and became a reliever this season. We wanted him to empty the tank every outing with his fastball and continue to develop his hard slider.  Jordi thrived in leverage spots in Jersey and Reading this season and continues to show good stuff in the AZ fall league.  Stayed healthy from start to finish for the first time in his career.”

Jersey Shore Pitching Coach Phil Cundari :  “Absolutely love Jordi. Just always wants the ball, had to explain to him he also needs recovery time and rest but just loves to pitch and would take the ball every day if given to him.  Gave us a great deal of flexibility in the bullpen due to his availability and ability to throw multiple innings on short rest.  He made big strides with his slider, now uses it against both lefty and righties. His fastball velocity has reached 98 mph - averaged 95 to 96.  Is a true workhouse, just a matter of figuring out stuff at the higher levels, commanding the heater to set up his slider which will produce even more whiffs.  Happy for him that he was promoted to Reading and is getting a chance to pitch in the Arizona Fall League, earned both.  Is a quiet young man, doesn’t say a whole lot, but is a fiery competitor.  A really good person who comes to work every day, works with a purpose and focus.  Positive mentality and those attributes led to a big development year.”

2024 Projection :  a return to Reading to begin the year seems likely with a chance to climb higher.  Should get some looks in big league spring training camp.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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