Minor Moves: Juancito Martinez Makes Jump To AA

Juancito Martinez

Juancito Martinez, RHP
A+ Jupiter » AA Jacksonville
2015 Stats: 22.2 IP, 1.59 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 4.00 K/BB

If there were ever a guy who personifies the term diamond in the rough, Martinez is it. A 2010 free agent signee out of the Dominican in 2010, Martinez began his career as an outfielder. While he wasn’t able to muster much in the way of offensive production, the Marlins took notice of Martinez’s arm which allowed him to compile 29 outfield assists over his first five years in the minors. Up until two days ago, that same arm was the best one in Jupiter’s bullpen and ranked amongst the best relievers in the Florida State League. Before an off night in his thirteenth outing, Martinez’s ERA remained sparkling in his 12 previous appearances. The three runs he gave up that night account for 3/4 of the damage opposing hitters have been able to muster against him this season. His spectacular year this year comes on the heels of great beginning to his pitching career with short season Batavia in 2014. In 21 games for the Muckdogs that season, Martinez held down a 2.51 ERA and a 1.186 WHIP (10th in the NYPL) while striking out three times as many as he walked (33/11). At 6’1″ 170, Martinez uses his big frame to get behind his fastball which is some of the highest heat in the Marlins’ organization. Martinez is just 40 something innings in to his career as a pitcher but watching him display the control he does, you would have no idea. With good knowledge of the zone and an uncanny knack to hit the glove wherever it is set up, Juancito looks like a guy who has been doing this for his entire life. Although he is already 25, there is still reason to be excited about this guy. Should his success continue in to the higher levels of the minors, you could see his name mentioned as a possible bullpen candidate as early as next season.

Jose Adames, RHP
A Greensboro » A+ Jupiter
2015 Stats: 38.1 IP, 2.35 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 1.53 K/BB

Adames is a 22-year-old who the Marlins purchased out of the Domnican Republic in 2011. Following two seasons with the DSL Marlins, one with the GCL Marlins and a stint with short season Batavia, he got his first taste of full season ball in the second half of 2014 in Greensboro. In 10 games, 8 starts and 44 innings, Adames flashed lights out stuff at times, compiling a 7.77 K/BB, building off the 9.22 mark he posted with the Muckdogs but by posting a career-high 1.45 WHIP by allowing nearly 10 hits per game, he proved his command still needed some work. It has been a similar second full season so far for Adames: in his first 38.1 IP and 8 starts with the Hoppers in 2015, he has posted good K numbers. In a similar number of IP to 2014, the WHIP has slightly improved thanks to a 7.98 H/9. By way of improving in those categories, his ERA is down to 2.35, tops on the Hoppers’ staff and deserving of the call to Jupiter. But with the walk total elevated from 3.68 to 3.99, a career worst, Adames has proven he still has plenty to work on. The downside to Adames is he is pretty much a one-pitch pitcher. That one pitch is a great, explosive fastball topping out at 95 with good life. However, his lack of command of any of his pitches including this one gives Adames a very poor handle on the strikezone. As for the rest of his repertoire, it isn’t much at the moment. Adames flashes a 76-78 MPH 12-6 curve which more often than not turns into a 10-6 hanger. This is probably the pitch he has the most command of though as he hits the zone with it more often than not. With work, it could become a plus pitch. The third and final offering Adames brings to the table is a 83-85 MPH changeup. He has even less feel for it than the fastball. Even at its best the pitch has little to no movement and he leaves it up in the zone. Adames’ future rides on the development of his curveball and improving the command of his fastball. If he can turn the curve in to a consistently solid plus secondary pitch as well as gain a better working knowledge of the zone and where his heater will wind up, he could wind up becoming a major league middle to late inning reliever. For now, we put the 22-year-old at the shallow end of the prospect pool with a long ways to swim.

Greg Nappo, LHP
AA Jacksonville » AAA New Orleans
2015 Stats: 17.2 IP, 2.04 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 4.17 K/BB

Nappo is a 6′, 210 pound lefty who had an up-and-down college career at Connecticut. Barring his time spent in AAA last year, he has had a spectacular minor league career, including this season with the Suns where he has posted a 2.04 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP and a 25/6 K/BB over his first 17.2 IP. Last season in Jacksonville Nappo was equally impressive, compiling a 40/7 K/BB and a 1.74 ERA along with an unheard of 0.75 WHIP, which lead the team. However, he got a rude welcome to AAA, nearly allowing as many earned runs (5) in just 5 innings. Nappo will be hoping for a better start and finish to his stay with the Zephyrs this year which proves to be a much more extended look. Nappo’s arsenal consists of a high 80s to low 90s heater, a mid 80s cut fastball and mix-in slurvy curveball with good dive. On the surface, most of his pitches appear to be of the average variety. What gives Nappo a positive edge is the deceptiveness in his delivery. Throwing from a 3/4 arm slot, Nappo hides the ball in his glove very well, not transitioning to the hand until his front foot is nearly back on the ground and is extremely quick to the plate. His motion to the mound is straight and fluid and his follow-through is well composed. All of this has allowed Nappo to never post a K/BB under 4 in any of his full minor league seasons. To succeed at the higher levels, Nappo’s stuff is going to need to improve slightly. He needs to gain a few more miles per hour on his fairly straight heater in order to be able to rely on it and the curve will need to be as effective at the start of his outings as it is the further he gets in to them. The down side to all of that is that Nappo is already 26-years-old and is as matured as he is going to get. We will keep an eye on him but it appears as if he is destined to be an organizational guy.

Justin Bohn, SS/INF
AA Jacksonville « A+ Jupiter
2015 Stats: .161/.223/.218, 2 XBH, 6 RBI, 30/6 K/BB

Bohn is a 22-year-old utility infielder who enjoyed a good college career and a good start to his minor league career. After a .374/.447/.563, 31/48 K/BB two year career at Feather River College in Nevada, the Marlins drafted Bohn in the 7th round in 2013. After short stints with Batavia and Greensboro that year, he entered his first full season last year. After a .293/.397/.452 start with the Grasshoppers, Bohn became a Hammerhead. His success continued in Jupiter where he nearly replicated those numbers hitting .296/.347/.372, allowing him to make the jump to AA to begin this year and placing him on the fast track to the majors. However, with the Suns this year, Bohn has proven to be over-matched. Although his patience is his best assett, Bohn has struck out 30 times to just 6 walks and he has gone just 14 for his first 87. However, there is still plenty of promise here. Not only does Bohn have some of the best eyes in the organization he owns above-average speed and the ability to play three defensive positions around the infield, all of which he plays fairly well. At just 22, there is plenty of room for improvement for the 6’0″, 180 pounder. Bohn will likely spend the rest of the year building confidence back where he is more comfortable in Jupiter. While it may take him longer than three seasons to come to fruition, he has the potential to become a starting major leaguer. A current top 25 prospect in the organization, Bohn is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

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