Martinez Drafted by the Cardinals in the Fourth Round of the 2016 MLB Draft |
June 10, 2016
LOS ANGELES – USC junior catcher Jeremy Martinez was the first Trojan taken off the board in the 2016 MLB First Year Players Draft, as he was taken in the fourth round, 136th overall pick by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Martinez (Fountain Valley, Calif./Mater Dei HS) was second on the team with a .376 batting average, starting all 56 games for the Trojans (54 of those behind the plate). He tallied 42 RBI, third-most on the team, along with six home runs and a team-high 18 doubles. He slugged .563 to lead the team and his on-base percentage of .460 was second-best. The junior struck out only 12 times in 213 at bats, which came out to about only one strikeout every 20 at bats, good for eighth-best nationally.
The junior was a three-year starter, but only behind the plate this past season, where he threw out 44.4 percent of would-be base stealers (24-of-54). He boasts a career-high batting average of .324, finishing with 202 hits and 116 RBI. He only struck out 43 times in 624 career at bats. Martinez is a three-time All-Pac-12 honoree, earning first team honors in 2016. As a freshman in 2014 he earned Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America honors. For his exceptional play behind the plate, Martinez was named one of 15 semifinalists for the Johnny Bench Award, given to the nation’s top collegiate catcher.
The last Trojan drafted by the Cardinals was C/RHP Robert Stock, who was taken in the second round of the 2009 draft. Trojans have had 317 players drafted since the draft's inception in 1965.
Martinez was previously drafted out of high school in 2013 by the Chicago Cubs in the 37th round, but elected to come to USC.
Trojan great and World Series Champion Randy Flores is the scouting director for the Cardinals.