Eduardo H. Martinez-Esteve
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 215 lb.
- School Florida State University
- High School Westminster Christian High School (Palmetto Bay)
Eddy Martinez-Esteve was a top high school and college prospect who has fizzled in 2006-2007.
Martinez-Esteve hit .475 as a high school junior and was named All-State. As a senior, he batted .550 with 12 home runs and 25 stolen bases and he again was an All-State pick. Baseball America rated him as one of the top 30 prep players in the country. The Seattle Mariners picked him in the third round of the 2002 amateur draft, the 100th pick overall. He did not sign, opting for college.
In 2003, Martinez-Esteve hit .371/.462/.608 despite a hamstring injury. He was second in the Atlantic Coast Conference in batting average, thirdi n OBP and third in slugging. Micah Owings beat him out for Conference Rookie of the Year honors. He was named a Collegiate Baseball Freshmen All-American, though Baseball America did not select him.
Martinez-Esteve produced at a .385/.457/.707 rate in 2004 with 19 home runs and 81 RBI in 67 games. He led the ACC in average, hits (104), doubles (24) and home runs and was two off of the lead in RBI. Martinez-Esteve was an All-ACC outfielder; Joe Koshansky was named Conference Player of the Year despite inferior offensive numbers across the board. Martinez-Esteve tied for 7th in NCAA Division I in hits, led in total bases (191, 12 more than anyone else), tied for 13th in home runs and tied for 7th in RBI. He was a consensus first-team All-American outfielder. Baseball America rated him the #4 power-hitting prospect in college baseball.
The San Francisco Giants took Martinez-Esteve in the 2nd round of the 2004 amateur draft; it was their first choice as they had lost their first-round pick due to free agent compensation. He was signed by scout Paul Turco Jr. for $537,500 and made his pro debut that summer.
Martinez-Esteve split the 2004 pro season between the AZL Giants (5 for 14, 2 2B), Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (10 for 35, 6 BB, 4 2B), Hagerstown Suns (10 for 46, 2B, 3B, HR, 8 BB, 11 RBI in 13 games) and the San Jose Giants (.420/.446/.580 in 17 games).
In 2005, Eddy had a big year, hitting .313/.427/.524 for San Jose. He led Giants farmhands with 44 doubles and 89 walks and also hit 17 home runs and scored 89 runs. He was second among San Francisco minor leaguers with 94 RBI, trailing Mike Cervenak. He was third in the California League in doubles and second in OBP (.001 behind Kila Kaaihue). He was named to the league All-Star team in the outfield. Baseball America rated him as the league's #10 prospect, between Adam Jones and John Danks and reported that "observers had little trouble projecting [him] as [a] big-league hitter."
Martinez-Esteve hit .272/.324/.446 in 27 games for the 2006 Connecticut Defenders before a left shoulder injury ended his season. He had surgery on June 1. Baseball America still rated him as San Francisco's #9 prospect going into 2007.
2007 was a rough year as he only batted .207/.286/.269 in 23 games for San Jose and .239/.306/.291 in 37 for Connecticut. Baseball America reported that his poor season "might have killed" his "long-term projectability." Martinez-Esteve had had a good shot after 2005 of becoming the first major leaguer with a hyphenated surname, but Ryan Rowland-Smith achieved that in 2007 while Eddy was battling injuries.