Casey Martin #1 prospect

I know this has been mentioned before, but D1 Baseball just came out with their top 150 prospect list for 2020. Casey tops the list. Like many D1 articles, you cannot read the entire article without a subscription, but the info about Casey is open to be read.

2020 Top 150 College Prospects

He is a special player. Based on what I’ve seen and heard from practice this preseason, he looks like he might have a big year, offensively.

Matt, he had a pretty big year as a freshman. What are you expecting…20 homers…75 rbi’s? Those are Will Clark and Raphel Palmeiro numbers.

I am curious…the only knock on Casey is his size and frame. Do you know if he is working out? As we all know, Andrew Benentendi changed his career with the workout results. This doesn’t work for everyone, but usually getting stronger and a little larger will help you in most any sport.

Casey is a solid guy in the workout room. He may not have the frame you like, but he’s got the best hands in college baseball. The bat speed is what everyone raves about and there is no worry about lack of size. He is durable, too. I get nervous when someone with his ability decides to change his body. He hits the ball further than anyone I’ve seen. He hits them 400 feet to straight away left. I don’t want him to change his body at all.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see him hit more home runs, but I don’t think he’s going to the plate looking to do that. He’s a line-drive hitter that is going to take what the pitcher gives him, a lot of times early in the count. He knows pitching better than he did last year and he’s a lot stronger than he was last year. That might translate into more home runs, or it might be that a pitch he hit for a single last year travels farther and he legs it out into a double with his speed. He had 27 extra-base hits last year (13 home runs, 14 doubles) and I think that number stands a good chance to increase. Maybe he’ll hit a triple or two this year.

It’s funny you mention Benintendi. The strength coach is different now, but the players still refer to staying here in the summer as “The Benny Plan,” in reference to Benintendi not playing summer baseball in 2014 and working out here instead. That was what Martin did last summer. He isn’t bulky, but you can see that he is stronger by looking at his shoulders and forearms.

I haven’t watched the Hogs play a lot, but did last year as we made our run to the National Championship, almost. Casey really has a lot of pop in that bat for a guy his size. The bat speed is coming from somewhere…probably those quick twitch muscles that give him superior speed.

You don’t have to be strong to hit the ball a long way, but if you are not strong…you need to be quick. He obviously is quick and fast.

Ernie Banks and Hank Aaron are a couple of guys who come to mind. Aaron and Banks both never weighed more than 175-180 lbs. and had a lot of power due to quickness. They were some of the first hitters to use a very light bat and emphasize their quickness. They didn’t hit those prodigiously long homers like Mickey Mantle did, but they were great hitters.

Casey has amazing bat speed and he is a tremendous hitter and once he learns to go the other way he will hit even more home runs and be very potentially of 400 hitter

Is Casey old enough to be draft eligible after this season?

Never mind - I just noticed this was the 2020 draft!

No, he is not draft-eligible until 2020.

One thing to watch for with Martin is his walks. Dave Van Horn points to Andrew Benintendi as a guy who would take his walks and not go out of the zone. That’s what Casey has to do better, even when teams are pitching around him. Both Dave Van Horn and Nate Thompson told me they want Martin to “hunt his pitch more” this season.

It really didn’t serve anyone a major purpose to play summer baseball last year, if they played in every game. They played in Omaha almost until the end of June. There wasn’t much left of the Cape Cod League at that point. Some of the pitchers who didn’t get a lot of innings needed to go play some, or guys like Jordan McFarland. McFarland was on the bench late in the season when Jared Gates took control at first base.

If you watch Andrew Benintendi at the plate…you notice a couple of things…he has a sweet swing and he knows the strike zone. He has a superb feel about the strike zone. He doesn’t swing at a lot of bad pitches as most players do. Is it plate discipline or just a talent for knowing the zone?..I don’t know, but some guys have it and some never have it. It will serve Andrew well this year as he moves into the leadoff spot for Boston.

I have read on some websites that Boston is planning to offer him an extension soon rather than wait for him to try free agency. I hope he gets a sweet contract.

Benny has always had good plate discipline. Even during his freshman year when he did not always hit, he took plenty of walks.