While the Detroit Tigers were locked in on Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, many thought that the Baltimore Orioles were guaranteed to select Vanderbilt star Austin Martin No. 2 overall. Surprisingly, the Orioles took Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad over him, and Martin fell to the Toronto Blue Jays at fifth overall after the Miami Marlins and Kansas City Royals drafted Minnesota right-hander Max Meyer and Texas A&M lefty Asa Lacy, respectively.
With Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Cavan Biggio, and Bo Bichette already in the pros, Martin could be the next great Toronto mega-prospect.
3. He Can Stick as a Third Baseman or Outfielder
Martin has seen some time in the infield, but he made his name as a quality outfielder, as his speed, baseball IQ, and flair for the dramatic allowed him to make some jaw-dropping catches. That defensive versatility should be a major bonus for him as he continues to develop, as he now has two potential pathways to the majors. Outfield seems more likely, given the presence of Guerrero at third.
2. His Power Is Developing
Martin was the best pure hitter in the country, hitting .368 in 140 college games and .392 during the 2019 season. If there is one trait that he lacks, it's his power, as he has only 14 homers to his name. However, if Vanderbilt hitting coach Mike Baxter's assessment is anything to go off of, Martin should continue to learn how to drive the ball with time. As he gets stronger in the minor leagues, look for Martin's home run numbers to keep increasing.
1. He Has Been Compared to Mookie Betts and Anthony Rendon
When names like that of the 2018 AL MVP and 2019 NL MVP third-place finisher are being thrown around as potential comparisons, you know you're doing something right. Martin's sweet swing, plus speed, and solid defense will all translate well to the pro game, as will his improving power. The fact that a player that is so well versed in so many aspects of the game fell out of the top three is simply a crime, though you won't hear any complaints from the Blue Jays.