Russell Martin was a huge upgrade behind the plate for the Pirates. (Photo credit: David Hague)
It was almost one year ago that the Pittsburgh Pirates signed Russell Martin to a two-year deal. The move ended up being outstanding, although it wasn't seen as an earth shattering move at the time. Some pointed to Martin's .211 batting average the previous year. Some felt that a combination of Tony Sanchez and Michael McKenry could do the same as Martin for cheaper. Some worried about Martin's numbers declining. I had my list of reasons why Martin shouldn't have been signed, and they were all wrong, and the article is still online here if you want to look back.
Comparing any catcher to some of the guys that have come through in previous years is setting a low bar. But Martin was a massive upgrade over guys like Rod Barajas, Chris Snyder, and even Ryan Doumit. First, let's look at the offense.
Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.