Third-round pick Casey Martin intends to sign with the Phillies
At least one of the Philadelphia Phillies’ four picks in this week’s MLB draft under new scouting director Brian Barber will sign with the organization.
Shortstop Casey Martin, drafted out of the University of Arkansas in the third round, told KTHV on Friday that he intends to sign with the Phillies; Martin’s pick slot value is $689,300, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia.
The Phillies had been interested in the 21-year-old right-handed hitter since high school, his collegiate alma mater’s head baseball coach Dave Van Horn told reporters. Entering the draft, Baseball America ranked Martin as the 38th-ranked prospect, while MLB.com ranked him as the 30th best.
The Phillies drafted Martin 87th overall, and, according to Barber, did not think there was a chance they could draft him that late. They “jumped on the chance to grab him when he did,” reports Radio.com’s Tim Kelly.
After selecting 18-year-old pitcher Mick Abel 15th overall, the Phillies did not draft again until Martin, 72 picks later. Martin was the first of three college players drafted by the organization on the second day of the draft, joining pitcher Carson Ragsdale and outfielder Baron Radcliff in the fourth and fifth rounds. They did not have a second-round pick due to signing free-agent pitcher Zack Wheeler this past offseason.
While a member of the University of Arkansas Razorbacks baseball team, also known as the Diamond Hogs, Martin helped them to back-to-back trips to Omaha, Nebraska, the College World Series, for the first time in school history.
According to KTHV, Martin said the Phillies have not told him yet what his role will be. Over 148 games and three seasons with the Diamond Hogs, he slashed .310/.389/.542 with 40 doubles, 30 home runs and 116 RBI. Entering his recent, short-lived junior season, he was rated as the No. 3 shortstop in D1 Baseball’s Preseason Position Power Rankings, as well as the Preseason All-SEC First Team Shortstop (Coaches), among other honors.
The shortstop told reporters he is open to a position change if needed, having previously also played in the outfield, second base, and third base growing up. Van Horn says Martin can play “just about anywhere.”
Barber agrees, according to Kelly, who reports the scouting director thinks he can “co-exist” with last year’s first-round pick, fellow shortstop Bryson Stott.