The Pittsburgh Pirates assigned first baseman Mason Martin to Bristol on Friday afternoon. Martin had been playing with the West Virginia Power, but it now appears that he will finish the season with one of the short-season teams. As of right now, the assignment to Bristol is just a paper assignment because their season doesn’t begin until June 19th. Jesse Medrano, who was with Bradenton, has replaced Martin on the roster.
Martin destroyed pitching in the GCL last year, posting the third best OPS in league history. He made the jump over two levels this year to the South Atlantic League, where he was one of the youngest players in the league. He did not fare well after a decent start, hitting .200/.302/.333 in 45 games, with 18 walks and 62 strikeouts in 175 plate appearances.
The bright side to this is that Martin got experience against advanced pitching, which he wouldn’t have faced if he stayed in Extended Spring Training. Assuming he goes to Bristol, they play 68 games and he will be seeing better pitching than he faced last year in the GCL. If he succeeds, then he will likely be back in West Virginia to begin 2019 and will still be a teenager for the first two months of the season.
Medrano played sparingly in his two weeks with Bradenton, going 0-for-8 with four strikeouts in five games.