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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 88: Davis Martin

Success in a short Double-A sample bodes well for movement up in 2022.

If Davis Martin can keep the ball on the ground and continue to attack righties, he’ll see time in the Knights rotation by the end of 2022.
Tiffany Wintz/South Side Sox

Davis Martin

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher
200 pounds
Age: 25
SSS rank among all right-handed starting pitchers in the system: 18
2021 South Side Sox Top Prospect: 69

Davis Martin, who was projected to be drafted much higher in 2018, slipped to the 14th round as he struggled with Texas Tech to the tune of a 4.87 ERA and 1.49 WHIP. Martin did hold his own, however, with the AZL Sox and Great Falls in his pro debut, as he combined to post a respectable 4.29 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in nine outings spanning 21 innings.

The 2019 season was fairly rocky for Martin, but it wasn’t a lost campaign by any means. In 27 starts totaling 144 2⁄3 innings, Martin allowed 152 hits (.266 OBA) and 38 walks (2.4 BB/9) while striking out 156 hitters (9.7 K/9). Lefties and righties fared equally against his offerings, but aside from a fairly high batting average, Martin’s biggest issue was that he surrendered 17 homers — a high number considering the ballpark he pitched in. Martin’s first-half ERA, WHIP and OBA were awful at 6.35, 1.91 and .291; thankfully his second-half numbers improved to 3.87, 1.15 and .243. Thus, it appears that while Martin maintained his control throughout the season, he improved his command.

After missing the 2020 season due to the pandemic, Martin began 2021 with Winston-Salem but struggled with a 5.32 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in his 17 starts. In 67 2⁄3 innings, he relinquished 80 hits (.297 OBA) and 26 walks (3.5 BB/9) while striking out 78 (10.4 K/9). Lefties hit .271 against his offerings, but righties thrived by hitting .312. Despite his struggles for the Dash, Martin was promoted to Birmingham on August 8 and performed much better in his six games there. In 20 1⁄3 innings for the Barons, he surrendered 19 hits (.250 OBA) and eight walks while fanning 20 on the way to a 3.54 ERA and 1.33 WHIP.

According to MLB Draft Countdown in 2018, Martin’s fastball runs 89-93 mph while his curveball runs 80-83. He does feature both a four-seamer and a two-seamer, while his changeup helps neutralize lefties somewhat (although it was graded at just 40 prior to his draft selection). Obviously, Martin may have gained a little oomph on those pitches in the three years since that scouting report, based upon his high strikeout totals.

Martin will need to work on keeping the ball down, as Double-A hitters hit grounders less than a third of the time. He features sound mechanics, and has seemingly improved upon his 45 grade control. If he can have success with Birmingham with keeping the ball down, he’ll have a chance to earn promotion to Charlotte at some point in the 2022 season.

2022 South Side Sox Top 100 White Sox Prospects

88. Davis Martin, RHSP
89. Tyler Osik, 1B
90. Samil Polanco, 3B
91. Manuel Veloz, RHRP
92. Pauly Milto, RHRP
93. Fraser Ellard, LHRP
94. Colby Smelley, C
95. Manuel Guariman, C
96. Everhett Hazelwood, RHRP
97. Garrett Schoenle, LHRP
98. Kyle Kubat, LHRP
99. Anderson Comas, RF
100. Jake Elliott, RHRP