Pelicans’ Martinez Carolina League Pitcher of the Week

pel-martinezpowIn conjunction with Minor League Baseball, the Carolina League announced its Players of the Week on Monday, naming Myrtle Beach Pelicans right-handed pitcher Jonathan Martinez the winner for the week of July 27-August 2.

A Carolina League midseason All-Star, Martinez pitched his way to his second career Pitcher of the Week honor after firing an eight-inning, three-hit shutout against the Potomac Nationals in a 4-3 win at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark on July 28. It was one year to the day after he became a member of the Chicago Cubs organization.

Martinez, 21, ranks seventh in the Carolina League with a 3.10 ERA in 93.0 innings of work on the mound this year. A fly-ball pitcher, Martinez has allowed 10 home runs this season, but he also carries the lowest WHIP (0.98), lowest opponents’ batting average (.214) for a starting pitcher, and he allows the fewest baserunners for any starter in the circuit. His 3.10 ERA is the sixth-lowest among all Cubs minor leaguers.

On July 28, the Pelicans maintained a 4-0 lead against Potomac after eight innings, but the Nationals mounted a two-out rally and scored three runs in the top of the ninth. With the tying run at third base, reliever David Berg nailed down a save and secured the win for Myrtle Beach and Martinez, his seventh of the year. The victory led the Pelicans to their third in a row as part of a six-game win-streak, and Martinez’s eight-frame effort set a new career-high.

The award is Martinez’s first weekly Pitcher Player of the Week honor this season. His eight-innings were the most pitched by any Carolina League starter during the week. He first won Pitcher of the Week as a member of the Great Lakes Loons in the Midwest League for the week of June 16-22. That same week, former Pelicans first baseman Jacob Rogers won Offensive Player of the Week for the Kane County Cougars.

Martinez is in his fifth professional season, and 2015 is his first full campaign in the Chicago Cubs system. A right-handed native of Maracay, Venezuela, the Los Angeles Dodgers originally signed the six-foot, one-inch right-hander as a non-drafted free agent on May 11, 2011. The Cubs then acquired Martinez in a trade for infielder Darwin Barney on July 28, 2014.

Although not currently ranked among the Cubs top 30 prospects, Martinez was ranked No. 15 among Dodgers prospects by MLB.com entering the 2013 season.

Martinez is the second Pelicans pitcher to earn Pitcher of the Week honors, joining Tyler Skulina, who won the award for the week of April 27-May 3

Three Pelicans hitters have been named Offensive Player of the Week this season, including Mark Zagunis, Kevin Brown, and Billy McKinney.

The Pelicans had a player named Offensive Player of the Week six times last season (Joey Gallo, three times; Nick Williams, Jorge Alfaro, Ryan Cordell).

Lynchburg’s Dorssys Paulino was named the Offensive Player of the Week this week.

The Pelicans return home to begin a six-game homestand on Tuesday, starting with a three-game series against the Wilmington Blue Rocks at 7:05 p.m. ET.

– Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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