D-backs RHP prospect Justin Martinez stands out in Fall Stars Game

Nov 6, 2022, 9:07 PM | Updated: 9:08 pm
Justin Martinez #33 of the Salt River Rafters pitches during the game between the Salt River Rafter...
Justin Martinez #33 of the Salt River Rafters pitches during the game between the Salt River Rafters and the Surprise Saguaros at Chase Field on Saturday, October 15, 2022 in Pheonix, Arizona. (Photo by Jill Weisleder/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jill Weisleder/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks prospect Justin Martinez pitched a scoreless inning without allowing a hit in Sunday’s Fall Stars Game, the All-Star Game equivalent for the Arizona Fall League.

Martinez was the only D-backs prospect to perform, and he did his job in a 9-3 win for the National League.

The 21-year-old righty mixed in his plus fastball and changeup to strikeout two of four hitters he faced with relative ease.

His outing began against Ronny Simon of the Tampa Bay Rays, whom the D-backs traded last winter for outfielder Jordan Luplow.

Martinez struck him out on three pitches, starting with a fastball on the inside corner and finishing with two changeups that dipped below the zone.

Minnesota Twins prospect Edouard Julien followed with a four-pitch strikeout.

Heston Kjerstad, the 2020 No. 2 overall pick by the Baltimore Orioles, dug in next, and the two had a battle.

Martinez got up 0-2, but Kjerstad worked a full count. The batter fouled off a fastball, and Martinez missed on the seventh pitch of the at-bat.

The D-backs’ arm did not have to work with a runner aboard long, as he forced a pop-up on the next pitch, his 15th of the inning.

Martinez and shortstop Jordan Lawlar were the two D-backs prospects who made the NL team, although Lawlar was unable to play due to injury.

Martinez, who stands 6-foot-3 and can hit 96-99 mph on the gun, earned his spot with a 2.35 ERA in seven appearances for the Salt River Rafters this fall. He has three saves and 13 strikeouts to five walks.

The Dominican Republic native reached Triple-A Reno last season after starting the year with Single-A Visalia. He could be an option for Arizona’s bullpen at some point next year or in 2024 as the No. 30 ranked prospect in the farm system by MLB Pipeline.


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