There are numerous prospects that are getting looks in the big leagues as the season winds to a close: Darin Ruf, Cody Asche, Cesar Hernandez, Freddy Galvis, Cameron Rupp, and Tyler Cloyd among others.
The player that might have the brightest future of them all is Ethan Martin. The 24 year old Martin got his first look with the Phillies on August 2nd against the Braves. He got hit around and in seven starts with the Phillies this season, Martin was 2-4 with a 6.90 ERA and a 1.80 WHIP. He struggled with his command as evident by his 21 walks in 30 innings of work.
Martin was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers last July along with Josh Lindblom for outfielder Shane Victorino. The Dodgers have a propensity to select high school pitchers who have live arms and Martin fit the bill which is why he was headed to the Dodgers organization with the 15th overall pick in 2008. After kicking around being a starter, the Dodgers began to transition Martin to a reliever's role when he was traded. The Phillies moved him back to the rotation but now they might be seeing what the Dodgers already saw - a strong reliever.
Martin certainly has the gas to make it in the bullpen but even his numbers as a starter point to a great bullpen prospect. Opponents were hitting .200/.290/.327 the first time around against Martin but, once they faced him once in the game, the advantage shifted to the hitters. Opponents were batting an astonishing .304/.396/.565 against this the second time and the third time is was just crazy with opponents batting .364/.533/.955 facing him a third time in a game.
Even the pitch count adds up to Martin becoming a reliever with opponents batting .135/.200/.135 on his 1-25 pitches in an outing.
On Tuesday night, Martin made his first relief appearance for the Phillies and looked comfortable - very comfortable. Martin threw 10 pitches and all of them went for strikes and the Padres went three up and three down.
Martin's future appears to be in the bullpen which may be the best thing for the Phillies. With the downfall of Phillippe Aumont, maybe Martin is the new "next closer" in the Phillies organization.
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