The New York Yankees drafted 6’2″ right-handed pitcher Nolan Martinez out of Culver City High School with the 98th overall selection in the third round of the 2016 MLB Draft. Though he was committed to San Diego State University prior to the draft, the towering right-hander elected to forego college and begin his professional career, putting pen to paper and signing his entry level deal with the New York Yankees to an above-slot signing bonus of $1.15 MM on June 23, 2016.
In his final season of high school baseball, Martinez was scouted heavily leading up to the draft. He pitched to an 8-2 record with a 0.49 ERA, 81 strikeouts and 17 walks in 56.2 innings pitched for the Centaurs.
Shortly after signing with the Yankees as a 17-year old, Martinez turned 18 and was assigned to the Gulf Coast Yankees, where he would make his rookie-ball debut in a brief start on August 16th, 2016, pitching two scoreless frames while scattering one hit and recording a strikeout and a walk against the Gulf Coast Pirates.
Due to MLB age restriction rules, Martinez finished his rookie-ball campaign with just three starts under his belt, but in those few games, he did not disappoint one bit.
In just seven innings pitched, Martinez posted a 3.86 ERA with three strikeouts while surrendering four walks and holding opposing batters to a .261 average.
Nolan Martinez sports a fastball that currently sits around the 89-92 mph range, but he’s touched 95 mph on occasion. The same fastball recorded the highest spin rate of 2865 rpm at the World Wood Bat Association World Championship in 2015, and the same fastball is expected to increase in velocity as the lanky right-hander continues to grow into his frame. Martinez’ arsenal also includes a slider that sits in the upper-70’s and a changeup that still needs some work.
Nolan Martinez is expected to play a full season during the upcoming 2017 campaign, and hopefully prove to the Yankees that they made the right decision in selecting him in the third round of last years draft. Look for Martinez to work on developing his changeup in 2017, as both his fastball and slider are already viewed as plus-pitches by a ton of industry scouts.