A one time highly touted prospect for the Chicago Cubs, Eddy Julio Martinez is looking for redemption in the Mexican Winter League.
Eddy Julio Martinez was a highly touted prospect when he signed with the Chicago Cubs in 2015 for 3 million dollars. In fact the Cuban outfielder was the top prospect of that international free agency period.
The chiseled 6’1 205 pound Martínez was compared to Atlanta Braves great Andruw Jones. Although he has yet to pass AA, the organization still considers him a five tool prospect with plenty of upside.
This off-season he worked diligently on his approach and swing and is leading the Mexican Winter League in homeruns and hits, and is second in batting average. Some might think this is the year Martínez finally turns the corner.
What part of your game did the Chicago Cubs send you to work on this winter?
The team still has a lot of faith in my abilities, but says I need to get more at bats and seeing more pitchers. I’m playing the whole winter in Mexico and the team preferred me to play in a league a strong as this one, they said it would be more beneficial to play as opposed to the Arizona’s Instructional League. Playing México will be better for my development as a hitter.
What is your goal this winter?
My goal is to leave a lasting impression, especially since I’m a Rule 5 player next year. Someone might want to take a chance on me if the team doesn’t protect me. I also want to help the Cañeros of Los Mochis win a title.
To what do you attribute your hot winter start?
I prepared very hard this winter on my craft and focusing on making more contact. It looks like my hard work is starting to pay dividends. The shortening of my swing was the key to my hot start.
Would you like to play in a Caribbean World Series?
Yes I would definitely love to, every player that’s plays in the winter would love to play in a tournament as prestigious as that one.
At what level are you going to start your next minor league season?
The ball club plans to insert in me at the AAA level with the Iowa Cubs.
What plans does the team have for you next season?
They still think very highly of me and expect me to make a jump to the next stage of my career. With the seasoned pitching I’m going to see in Mexico the teams expects me to be in camp this spring competing for a roster spot.
Would you ever like to play in Cuba again?
Yes and no. I was very mistreated Cuba by the authorities. I have a lot of friends in Las Tunas and it would be beautiful to wear that uniform again, but how I was treated left a bad taste in my mouth.
I wanted to compete for a national team spot, inside I was forced into military service. I wanted to play against other top players on the international circuit, instead I was made a soldier. This experience was a very frustrating one and the main reason why I left Cuba.
Sometimes I feel like of I return it would be wearing another team’s uniform, perhaps Camagüey where I was born. The way I was treated by the authorities left me scarred. Being forced into military service is my scarlett letter.