Top 100 Baseball Blog

Monday, February 18, 2013

Carlos Martinez: Taking His Talents to Hawaii

Picking a college is a stressful exercise for most teenagers. Not only are they trying to find a place that will make them comfortable for the next four years of their lives, but also one that will best prepare them for their future endeavors. These decisions are further complicated by those who play varsity sports; particularly if they have designs to one day play professionally. Carlos Martinez had to make his own such decisions and now hopes he has made the right choices for his academic and baseball careers.

Martinez is an athletic infielder from West Covina, California. He starred at Nogales High School, displaying impressive versatility by playing the infield and outfield at a high level.  He comes from a baseball family, and his Venezuelan heritage provides another strong link to the game. It’s something he has played since he can remember and hopes to stay in the game as long as possible, with playing in the majors being his ultimate goal.

The right-handed hitter ultimately weighed his college options during the recruiting process and decided to sign his letter of intent with the University of Hawaii. He was ranked as high as the 10th-best second base prospect in last year’s MLB drat, but decided college was his best option.

Mike Trapasso, Hawaii’s head baseball coach, has described his new recruit glowingly. “Carlos is a very versatile player. He is very high energy and his offense is above average.” He will soon get a chance to show if his coach was correct in his assessment.

 It appears that the Rainbows will utilize Martinez as a second baseman, when he first suits up for them during the 2013 season, but his ability to play multiple positions opens the possibility that he may contribute all over the field.

If all goes as planned, Martinez will get a great education while sharpening his baseball skills and preparing himself for a shot at playing professional ball. If you can’t get out to see one of Martinez’s games, make sure to give him a follow on Twitter, where he is an active force, providing his followers with many updates about his life and baseball.

Last year, I got an opportunity to ask Martinez a few questions to find out for myself what life as baseball recruit is like.

Carlos Martinez Interview:

Who were your favorite team and player growing up and why?: My favorite team growing up, and still to this point, is the Marlins. I am a Miami fan in everything; Dolphins, Heat, and Marlins. With that being said, my favorite player growing up has been Miguel Cabrera for all the work he has put in to be one of the best hitters in all of baseball. My idol would have to be the big cat Andres Galarraga for overcoming the adversity that he went through in his career.

How would you describe your game?: My game is a lot like the Latin style of baseball. I was born in Venezuela and all my family is from there. So I’d say my game is scrappy. I love getting that uni dirty.

Can you run through what your college recruiting experience was like?: My recruiting process was a very fun experience. I played with a great program called ABD and that helped me really get on the map.

If you could have a one-on-one session with any current major league player to pick their brain, who would that be and why?: I’d love to talk baseball with Dustin Pedroia because we are both little guys in stature but really play with heart. He seems like he goes about his business the right way with the way he prepares and gets ready for a game, day in and day out.

How difficult is it to balance academics and baseball?: Not as bad as people think. The key is just to be organized and prioritize. You can’t get overwhelmed with situations. You need to know when you can do things and when you can’t.

How important is baseball history to you, and how in tune are you with it?:  I really enjoy talking baseball history. It’s fun talking to older people and being able to talk to them about how baseball was back in the day.

How much instruction/advice have you received from professional players and/or coaches?: Well I have two cousins (Maicer and Cesar Izturis) currently in the majors and a lot of friends. Their main advice is to just have fun but work hard. There is always someone trying to take your spot so you have to stay on your game at all times.

What has been your favorite moment from playing baseball?: This past summer I was invited to the Perfect Game national showcase, and I must say it was the coolest baseball activity I have ever done. Playing alongside first-rounders and just the best players in the country really makes you bring the best out in your game.


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