Three late round Arizona Diamondbacks draft picks to watch in 2024

The Diamondbacks have some intriuging former late round draft picks who will be interesting to watch during the 2024 minor league season.
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Visalia Rawhide's David Martin bats against Fresno Grizzlies on Tuesday, May 9, 2023.
Visalia Rawhide's David Martin bats against Fresno Grizzlies on Tuesday, May 9, 2023. / Ron Holman / Visalia Times-Delta / USA

David Martin

The D-Backs drafted David Martin in the 16th round of the 2022 draft. Martin was selected out of California Baptist University after batting nearly .400 in his final college season. Martin’s 2023 season was very solid as he saw time behind the plate, at first base, and designated hitter. Although Martin probably won’t dethrone Gabriel Moreno, Martin could eventually compete for a backup catcher role in the near future.

Last year through 381 plate appearances, Martin batted .289/.407/.360 with a .372 wOBA and 119 wRC+. He rarely struck out and had a K% of just 12.1%. But he also paired this with an even better 14.7% walk rate. But Martin has never hit for much power. He had just three home runs with a .071 isolated slugging percentage.

Martin has an extremely good feel for contact. There were over 1000 batters with at least 300 plate appearances in the minor leagues last year. Martin’s strikeout rate was the 28th best among them. His 1.22 BB:K ratio was also among the best, ranking 15th. He was among 88 total batters with an OBP above .400 in 300+ PAs as well.

Defensively, Martin isn’t horrible, but he struggled with blocking last year. He allowed 11 passed balls in just 384.1 innings. Granted, passed balls aren’t the best identifier of defensive talent in the minor leagues. Martin also got some work in at first base and even played some corner outfield during his days in college.

Martin made it all the way from A-Ball Visalia to Triple-A Reno by the end of the season. He’ll only be 23 for all of 2024. The D-Backs don’t have an obvious answer for their second catcher, with multiple players on minor league deals competing for the spot. If Martin continues to hit well, maybe we will see him get a crack at the backup catcher role next year.