Jose Martinez (minors17)
Jose Gregorio Martinez
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 175 lb.
Jose Martinez has played as high as AAA.
Martinez was initially signed by the St. Louis Cardinals. He had a fine debut with the 2005 Johnson City Cardinals; the 19-year-old hit .300/.387/.500 with 6 home runs, 9 steals in 11 tries and 31 RBI in 55 games while playing 2B and SS. Had he qualified, he would have made the Appalachian League top 10 in slugging. He was 3 for 7 with 4 runs for the Tigres de Aragua that winter in the Venezuelan League. In 2006, he batted .270/.320/.417 with 20 doubles for the Swing of the Quad Cities, mainly playing second base. He hit .257/.304/.324 for Aragua in 2006-2007 then went 2 for 7 with 4 runs in the playoffs and got into two games without batting in the 2007 Caribbean Series. Moving to shortstop in 2007, he hit .248/.285/.323 in 62 games for the Palm Beach Cardinals and .300/.339/.472 in 66 games for the Springfield Cardinals; he hit 12 homers between the two stops. Baseball America named him St. Louis's #17 prospect.
Jose's batting line for the 2007-2008 Tigres was .260/.295/.406. He did very well in limited playoff action (2 for 5, HR, 5 RBI) then was a starter in the 2008 Caribbean Series. The 22-year-old hit .227/.261/.364 with 3 runs and 3 RBI in that Series. Three of his five hits came in their win over the Águilas Cibaeñas. He was hitting .253/.292/.348 and fielding .986 at 2B for Springfield late in 2008 when he had a season-ending injury. Baseball America named him the top defensive 2B in the Texas League. He was 2 for 17 for Aragua that winter, seeing little action while rehabbing. He remained sidelined for all of 2009 and had just a brief rehab stint with the 2010 GCL Cardinals (5 for 20, 2B, BB), now having lost two years of development time. He was 2 for 14 with two doubles and a walk for the Tigres in 2010-2011 then went 2 for 2 with a home run in the postseason.
St. Louis released the injury-riddled Martinez and he did not play in the minors in 2011. He was 0 for 1 for Aragua in 2011-2012 but saw regular work in the playoffs (10 for 21, 2B, 3B, HR, 6 RBI). He was 1 for 7 in the 2012 Caribbean Series. Signed by the Houston Astros, he had a strong summer in 2012: .304/.362/.464, 75 R, 75 RBI in 107 G for the Corpus Christi Hooks, though only .205/.272/.260 in 23 G for the Oklahoma City RedHawks. He was 9th in the Texas League in RBI (between Anthony Aliotti and Cody Decker, leading all middle infielders), tied Dean Anna for 9th in runs and was 6th in average (between Austin Wates and Nate Freiman). He was 5th among Astros farmhands in RBI (84, between George Springer and Jonathan Singleton). He was named to the TL All-Star team as a utility infielder; Kolten Wong was picked as the starter at 2B. In the winter, he produced at a .287/.358/.401 clip for Aragua.
Martinez spent most of 2013 in AAA with Oklahoma City (.282/.316/.410 in 81 G), with about a week in Corpus Christi (.455/.500/.485 in 8 G). He took over 2B for Oklahoma City after Jake Elmore was promoted to the majors. He hit .250/.292/.383 for the 2013-2014 Tigres.