The Padres announced that the contract of right-hander Adrian Martinez has been selected to the club’s 40-man roster. The early move ensures that Martinez won’t be selected in the Rule 5 Draft, as teams have until November 19 to finalize their 40-man rosters in advance of the Rule 5 (which takes place in the second week of December).
Martinez’s early career was slowed by a Tommy John surgery, but he returned to action in 2017 and slowly built up innings before his progress was against stalled by the canceled 2020 minor league season. Making his Double-A debut in 2021, Martinez looked excellent in posting a 2.34 ERA, 25.4% strikeout rate, and 7.3% walk rate over 80 2/3 innings in San Antonio. The righty didn’t look as good in 44 1/3 innings of Triple-A ball (5.28 ERA), though most of that damage came in Martinez’s first two starts at the higher level. After those initial two rough outings, Martinez settled down and delivered a 3.47 ERA over his final seven starts.
The breakout campaign got Martinez on the radar of prospect evaluators, as Baseball America ranks him 26th in the Padres’ farm system and MLB Pipeline slots him in the 29th spot on their listing. More importantly, Martinez now looks like a candidate to make his Major League debut sometime in 2022. He’ll get more seasoning at Triple-A to begin the season, and might then emerge as a relief candidate or perhaps as a rotation fill-in or spot starter in the event of an injury to one of San Diego’s regular starters.