Laurila: Corbin Martin’s path to Arizona included a stopover in Alaska

From SABR member David Laurila at FanGarphs on August 4, 2019:

Corbin Martin has had an eventful summer. The 23-year-old right-hander made his MLB debut in mid May, underwent Tommy John surgery in early July, and four days ago he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of the blockbuster Zack Greinke deal. Martin came into the season ranked No. 3 on our Houston Astros Top Prospects list.

He didn’t follow a traditional path to the big leagues. Primarily a centerfielder as a Cypress, Texas prep, he didn’t begin pitching in earnest until his second collegiate season. Moreover, he cemented his conversion under the midnight sun, 4,000-plus miles from home.

“When I got to [Texas] A&M, they were like, ‘Hey, we know you pitched a little in high school; do you want to try it out?,’” Martin told me prior to the second of his five big-league starts. “I was like, ‘Sure.’ At first I was kind of frustrated, because I like hitting, but I ended up running away with it.”

Baseball is said to be a marathon, not a sprint, and immediate success wasn’t in the cards. Martin pitched just 18 innings as a freshman, then struggled to the tune of a 5.47 ERA as a sophomore. It wasn’t until his junior year, which was preceded by a breakout summer in the Cape Cod League, that “all the pieces finally came together.”

Read the full article here:

Originally published: August 7, 2019. Last Updated: August 7, 2019.