The Harrisburg Senators have announced that Potomac SS Jason Martinson has been promoted from Potomac, while SS Josh Johnson returns to Syracuse to make room on the AA roster.
Martinson had been hitting .268/.374/.484 with a team-leading 12 home runs and 53 RBIs for the P-Nats and had played in 73 of 75 games, which is also the most for the team. He was the Carolina League Player of the Week twice in April.
A corresponding move has yet to be announced, as the activation of Colin Bates from the DL more closely resembles the move in reaction to Brian Broderick going onto the DL, as feared from his aborted relief outing last night.
Martinson was drafted by the Nationals in 2010 out of Texas State University and has risen slowly through the A-ball ranks, splitting time between Low-A and High-A 2012 after spending all of 2011 in Hagerstown. He was a taxi squad player on the 2012 AFL team batting .189 with a HR and 8RBI in 11 games.
Like Zach Walters ahead him on the ladder, Martinson represents the next wave of infielders that could potentially back up incumbents Ian Desmond and (let’s face it) Anthony Rendon. Two things have held him back thus far: his penchant for strikeouts, and shaky defense.
The K’s may be something he never quite tames, and in today’s game, that seems to be tolerated as the price for such power, which he has in spades for middle infielder. Of late, he’s been drawing more walks, and all season long he’s grinded out the at-bats, which I’d be willing to bet is one of the reasons he’s getting the bump.
Defensively, he’s made great strides just in the parts of two seasons I’ve seen him, learning to play within his range and making better decisions. Does it mean he’s a highlight reel? No, but he can pretty much be counted to make the routine plays and no longer makes youthful mistakes. That may sound like faint praise, so to put it more concretely – he made 33 errors in 113 games at SS in ’11. He’s on pace in ’13 to make roughly 15 errors over that same number of games.