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Amaury Martí

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Amaury Antonio Casañas Martí

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 212 lb.

[edit] Biographical Information

Amaury Martí has had many identities in the baseball world. In Cuba, he was known as Amaury Casañas. After he left Cuba, he was known briefly as Amaury Casana. When he joined the St. Louis Cardinals organization, he became known by his mother's maiden name of Martí to add to the confusion.

Martí led the 2000-2001 Serie Nacional with 89 strikeouts. He joined the Cuban "B" national team for the 2001 World Port Tournament and did well, going 5 for 16 with 3 walks and two home runs. He won the World Port Tournament Home Run King award for his power display. Playing DH, he tied Percy Isenia for the tourney lead in homers.

Casañas Martí was moved up to the Cuban "A" team for the 2002 Intercontinental Cup, on a team loaded with future defectors. He hit .423/.464/.657 as the starting right fielder. In 26 at-bats, he had 11 hits but also struck out 13 times, for an amazing .846 average on balls in play. He was 6th in the tourney in average and helped Cuba to its first Gold after falling short in the past two Intercontinental Cups. It would be his only time on the highly competitive Cuban national team.

The right-handed flyhawk led the 2004 Super Liga with 15 RBI. He paced the 2004-2005 Serie Nacional in both strikeouts (80) and intentional walks (12, tied with Loidel Chapellí). Frustrated that he had reached the highest level of play available in Cuba, he took an offer from a smuggler to get him out of the country for a chance to play in the USA. He left in the bow of a speedboat which ran out of gas on route to Mexico. A second boat came to provide more fuel and helped take the outfielder to Texas.

Signing with the Elmira Pioneers, Casañas Martí hit .354 and slugged .492 in 65 at-bats while playing third base. He then tried to impress teams at spring training sites in 2006 and won the interest of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals tried to sign him but the commissioner's office ruled him ineligible since he had become a U.S. resident. An additional problem was that he had signed a contract with Elmira for 2006; his agents claimed he couldn't read English and therefore the contract didn't count.

The Cardinals selected Casañas Martí in the 18th round of the 2006 amateur draft and signed him. He was assigned to the Palm Beach Cardinals and hit .282/.351/.494 (his name now being listed as Cazana-Marti) in 20 games, while playing error-free ball in the outfield and having two assists. Promoted to the Springfield Cardinals, he batted .227/.315/.394 in 40 contests. He hit .345 in the Arizona Fall League for the Peoria Saguaros and tied Eric Patterson for 6th in the AFL in average. He led Peoria with four home runs but also led with 23 strikeotus while drawing just 3 walks.

Casañas Martí had a solid 2007 season. He hit .337/.405/.555 with 15 home runs for the Petroleros de Minatitlán and .308/.370/.523 in 30 games for Springfield. Overall, his minor league batting line that year was .330/.399/.548 with 31 doubles, 21 homers, 90 runs and 91 RBI.

The veteran opens 2008 with the Memphis Redbirds and was hitting .266/.300/.426 in 28 games through June 15.

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