Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fernando Martinez=Moises Alou or Alex Escobar...

Photo Courtesy Michael Baron
Many have started to compare Fernando Martinez to another former Mets prospect Alex Escobar.  The former Met farmhand was ranked a top prospect by Baseball America three times and selected to the BA 1998 AAA all-star team. 

But Escobar has never put it all together, since his debut in 2001 he has only played in 125 games, over four scattered seasons and his last major league season was 2006.  He's a lifetime .258 hitter, .328 OBP and .415 Slg.. He last played organized baseball in 2008 at the age of  29 y/o for the Washington Nationals AAA team, although he signed a minor league deal with the Rockies in 2010 ( no stats so he never played).

Escobar, for those who need a refresher course, is the oft-injured, perennial prospect who killed the ball for a month last season when he was finally healthy. And then, right here at Turner Field, he dove back into first base and separated his shoulder. If that hadn't happened that night, you get the feeling that he would have been crossing the street the following day and fallen into a manhole. Frank Robinson, that day, said it was like a cloud followed this kid. You just feel bad. source Washington Post

Watching Sunday's pre-season game Fernando Martinez attempted to catch a fly ball in right field and after hitting the wall ( not excessively hard) came out limping.   In the next inning FMart hit a monster home run, in a short span of the game he reminded me of another former Met Moises Alou. 

Alou was one of the best hitters I have ever watched, in 17 seasons he maintained a .300 or better batting average and was one of the only players I ever saw who could go 3 for 4 on his first night off the DL. Alou should have been a Hall of Famer but what will keep him out is his propensity to get hurt. 

While both players were inhibited by their injuries from achieving their full potential, the difference between Escobar and Alou, was that Alou was in the majors between injuries while Escobar never developed due to his injuries.  So what will FMart become a guy you'll get 80 quality games a season from or 125 games over 10 years.