Tampa Bay Rays former first round pick convicted of murder

Former Tampa Bay Rays first round pick Brandon Martin was convicted on three counts of murder and is facing the death penalty.

The 2011 MLB Draft was supposed to set the Tampa Bay Rays up for the next decade. They had ten picks in the first 60 selections, beginning with the 24th pick. While Blake Snell, the 52nd overall selection in the draft, turned into the player the Rays were hoping for, the rest of the draft was a disaster.

One of those draft picks is back in the news. Brandon Martin, the 38th overall selection in the draft, was convicted on multiple charges, including three counts of murder, and is facing the death penalty.

At one point, Martin was drawing comparisons to Derek Jeter for his ability at short. He was expected to become a solid all around player with power and speed, the answer at the position for the next decade. However, he began having mental issues shortly after being drafted, only lasting three years in the minors before he was released.

Those issues came to a head after being released in 2015. He had threatened his father and put his mother in a chokehold and threatened her with scissors. Martin was admitted to the Riverside County Department of Mental Health’s emergency treatment facility, but was then released just two days later.

That is when tragedy struck. Martin returned to his parent’s house, where his father, Michael Martin; uncle, Ricky Anderson; and an ADT alarm technician, Barry Swanson, were located. He then grabbed a baseball bat, bludgeoning all three. His father and Swanson died at the scene, while Anderson was in a coma for two days before also passing.

The police had found the bat, engraved with Brandon Martin’s name, at the scene. He was spotted in a stolen vehicle, and evaded police, eventually fleeing to a home near an elementary school, where he tried to escape through a second story window before being captured.

In addition to the murder charges, Martin was also convicted of evading and resisting arrest, auto theft, and injuring a police dog – which happened when he bodyslammed the animal when he was being brought into custody. Sentencing arguments are scheduled to begin on Monday, with prosecutors seeking the death penalty.

Unfortunately, former Tampa Bay Rays draft pick Brandon Martin was never able to get the help he needed. His story has ended in tragedy for everyone involved.