José Martínez (baseball, born 1988)

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José Martínez
Martínez with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2017
New York Mets – No. 16
First baseman / Outfielder
Born: (1988-07-25) July 25, 1988 (age 32)
La Guaira, Vargas, Venezuela
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 6, 2016, for the St. Louis Cardinals
MLB statistics
(through 2020 season)
Batting average.289
Home runs43
Runs batted in182

José Alberto Martínez (born July 25, 1988) is a Venezuelan professional baseball first baseman and outfielder for the New York Mets of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, and Chicago Cubs. He made his major league debut with the Cardinals on September 6, 2016, after 887 games in ten minor league seasons.

As a member of the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers in the Kansas City Royals organization in 2015, Martínez set a modern-day Pacific Coast League (PCL) record with a .384 batting average. He also previously played in the Chicago White Sox and Atlanta Braves organizations as well as in the Frontier League.

Playing career[edit]

Chicago White Sox[edit]

Martínez signed with the Chicago White Sox as an amateur free agent in February 2006. From 2006 to 2012, Martínez played in the White Sox organization, reaching as high as the Double-A Birmingham Barons before becoming a minor league free agent on November 2, 2012.[1]

Atlanta Braves[edit]

On March 23, 2013, Martínez signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves. He spent the year with the Mississippi Braves and was a SOU South Division All-Star.[2] On November 4, 2013, Martínez elected free agency.

Rockford Aviators[edit]

Martínez signed with the Rockford Aviators of the Frontier League, an independent league, for the 2014 season. In his time with the Aviators, Martínez slashed .337/.375/.444 in a little over 100 at-bats.[3]

Atlanta Braves (second stint)[edit]

On June 20, 2014, he re-signed with the Braves and was assigned to the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats, where he hit .319/.375/.444.[4]

Kansas City Royals[edit]

On January 28, 2015, Martínez signed with the Kansas City Royals. While playing for the Omaha Storm Chasers that year, his .384 batting average broke a modern-day Pacific Coast League (PCL) record.[5][6] He also led the PCL in on-base percentage (OBP, .461) and was an All-Star.[7] He batted .382 overall in 2015–which included rehab time in the Arizona League–good for the fifth-highest mark since the modern era of the minor leagues began in 1963. Martinez was ultimately seven hits short of batting .400 for the season.[8]

The Royals added Martínez to the 40-man roster on November 6, 2015, and designated him for assignment on May 18, 2016, in favor of Whit Merrifield.[9] One week later, they traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals for cash.[10]

St. Louis Cardinals[edit]

After 887 games with 11 minor league teams,[11] Martínez made his major league debut on September 6, 2016, against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He ground out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning in his first at bat.[12] His first major league hit and run batted in (RBI) occurred two days later, scoring Greg Garcia on an infield single in a 12−5 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.[13] For the season, he had 7 hits in 16 at bats.[14]

The Cardinals announced that Martínez made their 2017 Opening Day roster, his first in the major leagues, after leading the club with 19 hits and 15 RBI in spring training.[15] He hit his first major league home run against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 25.[16] On August 6, 2017, Martínez hit his first major league career grand slam off Homer Bailey of the Cincinnati Reds, cementing a nine run frame for the Cardinals in a 13–4 win.[17] For the season, he batted .309/.379/.518.[14]

Martínez began 2018 as St. Louis' starting first baseman. On June 8, 2018, he hit two home runs off of Matt Harvey of the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park, helping St. Louis defeat the Reds 7-6 in ten innings.[18] He finished his 2018 campaign slashing .305/.364/.457 with 17 home runs and 83 RBIs in 152 games, and led the majors in percentage of balls hit to the opposite field (34.7%), as well as in percentage of soft-hit batted balls (34.7%).[19][20]

In February 2019, Martínez signed a two-year, $3.25 million contract with St. Louis.[21] For the 2019 regular season, he batted .269/.340/.751 with ten home runs and 42 RBIs over 128 games.

Tampa Bay Rays[edit]

On January 9, 2020, Martínez was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays along with Randy Arozarena and the Cardinals’ Competitive Balance Round A draft pick in exchange for Matthew Liberatore, Edgardo Rodriguez, and the Rays’ pick in Competitive Balance Round B.[22]

Chicago Cubs[edit]

On August 30, 2020, Martinez was traded to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Pedro Martinez and cash considerations.[23] On December 2, Martinez was non-tendered by the Cubs.

New York Mets[edit]

On January 14, 2021, Martínez signed a one-year, split contract with the New York Mets, which includes a $1 million option if he makes the team after spring training.[24] On March 7, 2021, Martínez suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee after colliding with an umpire trying to field a ground ball, forcing him to be out for about four months.[25] On April 1, Martínez was placed on the 60-day injured list.[26]

Personal life[edit]

Martínez is a son of former infielder Carlos Martínez, who played seven seasons in MLB for the Cleveland Indians, White Sox and California Angels.[5] He lives in Edwardsville, Illinois during the season.

Martínez has two children; one son, and one daughter.[27][28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Taft, Jay (June 19, 2014). "Aviators' Jose Martinez won't give up on baseball dream". The Journal Standard. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Boone, Tony (May 5, 2016). "Big year hard to ignore, but Chasers' Jose Martinez must follow up to get closer to big leagues". Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  6. ^ Goold, Derrick (May 26, 2016). "Carpenter on paternity leave; G. Garcia recalled". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  7. ^ FOX Sports Midwest (May 25, 2016). "Cardinals acquire OF Jose Martinez from Royals, assign to Memphis". Fox Sports Midwest. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  8. ^ Callis, Jim (August 16, 2018). "A history of hitting .400 in the Minors". Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  9. ^ Mellinger, Sam (May 11, 2018). "Strange tale: How Jose Martinez went from the Royals to the middle of the Cardinals' lineup". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  10. ^ Langosch, Jenifer (May 25, 2016). "Cards get OF Martinez from KC for cash considerations". Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  11. ^ Cooper, J. J. (September 7, 2016). "Jose Martinez's incredible journey gets a payoff". Baseball America. Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  12. ^ "Cardinals 9, Pirates 7". September 6, 2016.
  13. ^ Timmerman, Tom (September 9, 2016). "A first hit, a broken slump and some power: a few offensive bright spots in the 12−5 loss". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  14. ^ a b "Jose Martinez Stats".
  15. ^ Langosch, Jenifer (March 31, 2017). "Few surprises on Cards' Opening Day roster: Journeyman J. Martinez nabs fourth-outfielder spot; Tuivailala rounds out 'pen". Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  16. ^ Langosch, Jenifer; Chisolm, Gregor (April 26, 2017). "Wacha solid, but Cards fall to Blue Jays in 11". Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  17. ^ Langosch, Jenifer (August 6, 2017). "J. Martinez's slam highlights Cards' 9-run frame". Retrieved August 6, 2017.
  18. ^ Rick Hummel (June 9, 2018). "Cardinals get it right in the end, win 12th in a row over Reds | St. Louis Cardinals". Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  19. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2018 » Batters » Batted Ball Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball". Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  20. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals 2018 player grades: Infielders | Sports". October 5, 2018. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  21. ^ Post-Dispatch store (February 23, 2019). "Cardinals notebook: J. Martinez gets 2-year contract | St. Louis Cardinals". Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  22. ^ "Cardinals ship Martinez to Rays for touted arm". January 9, 2020. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  23. ^ "Cubs get designated hitter Martinez from Rays". August 30, 2020. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  24. ^ "Mets have deal with José Martínez". January 14, 2021. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ Post-Dispatch store (June 14, 2018). "Duty calls: Jose Martinez goes on paternity leave, will miss series against Cubs | St. Louis Cardinals". Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  28. ^ lil_scooter93 (June 18, 2018). "Look at José Martínez and his adorable baby daughter - A Hunt and Peck". Viva El Birdos. Retrieved October 25, 2020.

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