OF Martinez among those in camp early Thursday
Among the position players who reported to camp early Thursday were infielders Scott Moore, Joe Thurston and Diory Hernandez and outfielder Fernando Martinez, a former top prospect with the Mets.
Widely considered one of baseball’s top prospects from 2006-10, Martinez was billed as a power-hitting outfielder expected to be a cornerstone of the Mets’ lineup throughout this decade. But multiple injuries and an arthritic right knee have prevented Martinez from appearing in more than 82 games in any of the past three seasons.
“I’m really happy to be here, to be on a team and have new competition,” Martinez said. “My whole career I played for the Mets, and right now I have a new home and I feel very grateful to be here.”
Martinez, 23, spent the majority of the 2011 season at Triple-A Buffalo, but did have a brief stint with the Mets. In 63 games with Buffalo, he hit .260 with eight home runs and 30 RBIs. He hit .227 in 11 games for the Mets with a home run, which came May 13 at Minute Maid Park off Astros pitcher Bud Norris.
“I have to work hard, and if I play very good here they could give me the opportunity to play in the Majors this year,” Martinez said.
Martinez has one option remaining, so if he doesn’t make the Major League roster he could begin the season at Triple-A Oklahoma.
Also, manager Brad Mills gave no hints about who his closer might be, but he said a decision could be made within the week. More details on that later. For now, enjoy some pictures from the morning: