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Minor League Ball Reviews J.D. Martinez

John Sickels does a good job of breaking down one of my favorite prospects in Houston's system, J.D. Martinez. The left fielder has it at every level in the minors and is now hitting for more power at Corpus Christi, since recovering from  a nagging hamstring injury.

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One of the most interesting parts of Sickels' breakdown was Martinez' road splits, where he hit .364/.423/.562. That's a pretty awesome line and could reflect Martinez' true power numbers in the future. I don't think he'll have a ton of power or be the prototypical slugger at a corner outfield position, but he has a good shot of ending up with Hunter Pence power, which would make him one of the best power hitters on this team.

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The thing Martinez will excel at is hitting for average. He should be able to consistently hit around .300 with few strikeouts and a good walk rate. That's a valuable commodity, but there's not a clear path for him right now in the majors. See, Martinez is pretty stuck to left field, as his knees won't hold up to playing first base.

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With Carlos Lee under contract for another year yet, Martinez won't have a clear path there until 2013. Of course, they could move Lee to first and do something else with Brett Wallace, but I don't expect that to happen. Which means Martinez probably won't get a chance to shine in the majors until he's 25. That lowers his overall potential as a prospect but shouldn't lessen his future impact.

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