Originally signed as a 17-year old International Free Agent, Venezuela native David Martinez has made a slow but steady climb through the Astros minor league system. After four seasons in the Venezuelan Summer League, Martinez spent one year at each subsequent level before an outstanding effort at AA Corpus Christi acted as his springboard to the majors in 2013.
After a long and winding road, David’s time in the big leagues was short — and not too sweet. Martinez made four uninspiring relief appearances down the stretch, wrapped around a trip to Oklahoma City. Apparently his success in AA was simply a case of pitching against younger competition.
Never considered a top prospect, Martinez has been utilized as both a starter and a reliever throughout his career. David is currently working as a starter in the Venezuelan Winter League. He has appeared in two games for Navegantes del Magallane, tossing a total of 7 & 2/3 innings. But, you know how I feel about winter league stats.
The inability to ever cement a spot in a minor league rotation suggests that Martinez has a ceiling of big league reliever. David features a low nineties fastball and a decent slider. His offspeed pitches appear to still need some work. If everything goes right for the now 26-year old, we could see him working out of the Astros bullpen again at some point in the 2014 season. But the possibility also exists that Martinez could be dropped from the 40-man roster before the season starts. In fact, I’d be shocked if Martinez turns out to be any kind of a factor for the 2014 Astros.
David Martinez (Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports)