Minnesota Twins: How should the Twins spend international money?
Julio Pablo Martinez, OF
Age on Opening Day: 21
Info: While Ohtani would likely spend the majority of 2018 in the major leagues, the rest of this list will be spending 2018 in the minor leagues most likely.
Martinez has been playing in Cuba’s top league since he was 16 years old, catching eyes at every international tournament that he’s participated in for his exceptional defense and an intriguing power/speed combination on offense.
Martinez gained plenty of notoriety in 2014 when he played on the Cuban 18U national team that also featured Luis Robert, Jorge Ona, and Yusniel Diaz, who have each moved on to a MLB club, and Victor Mesa, who will now be the top prospect left in Cuba. His elite defense made splitting time between he and Mesa difficult.
Martinez hit .333/.469/.498 in the 2016/2017 Serie Nacional season over 264 plate appearances, with 11 doubles, 2 triples, 6 home runs, and 24 stolen bases. He also walked more than he struck out.
Martinez will likely need a year or more of time in the minor leagues to acquaint himself with MLB ball, and he very feasibly will not be cleared until March, so the Twins would have to hold onto money for a good chunk of time in order to sign him, but he could be the first hitter available this offseason to reach the majors in an impactful way.
While Martinez may be the first to the majors, the best prospects on the market beyond Ohtani were just added recently…