There are only a handful of players with talent like Joey Martarano's in any given draft year, and there are rarely any from states like Idaho. Martarano, a 6'3", 220 pound middle linebacker for Fruitland's football team, is a prototypical third base prospect with the potential to impact the game on both sides of the ball.
Martarano's quick-twitch athleticism is immediately evident when watching him in the field, and it's no surprise that he's a star linebacker with his combination of size and burst. He has soft hands and a big arm and has the look of a major league third baseman on defense. His frame is filled out more than the average high school prospect and should be ready for the pro grind.
When Martarano steps into the batter's box, it's difficult not to get excited. His wide shoulders and explosive hips generate plus raw power, and he has relaxed the arm action in his swing since last year, helping with his plate coverage and preserving his plus bat speed. His swing includes a significant leg-kick that ends with a George Springer-esque ankle roll which his future team may work to quiet down if and when he reaches pro ball. Though he needs adjustments at the plate with his mechanics and timing, his combination of raw power, leverage and impressive bat speed could make him an impact hitter in the future.
Martarano displays patience at the plate and shows a grasp on how to play a good third base, but he's a little rougher than most high school seniors due to his commitments off the diamond. If he decides to pursue baseball full-time, an assignment to extended spring training is likely in his first full pro season.
Update: Not much has changed here, Martarano is still very raw, very talented and still has very high upside, but he's failed to make big improvements this year. He's a little scary, and will take an overslot bonus, but he'd be a good get for any system.
Major League Floor
Martarano has some flaws in his game that need to be polished for him to reach his potential as a big leaguer. If he is unable to mature as a hitter, he could find a niche as a backup infielder/pinch hitter type to provide right-handed power off the bench.
Major League Ceiling
With continued strides as a hitter and some tweaks to his swing, Martarano could be an all-star level hitter at third base and post big power numbers. His profile is somewhat reminiscent of current Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks or the Cardinals' David Freese.
Projected Draft Round
It is very difficult to project players like Martarano in terms of draft position, as it is entirely possible that he slides until the extremely late rounds because of signability. However, with good scouting reports leading up to the draft and good vibes on his signability, teams could be enamored enough with him to take him round 1.
Will he sign?
Martarano is a top 75 talent in this draft, but may need to go higher than that, or be offered money significantly over slot, to sign given his commitment to Boise State. It is entirely possible that he gives baseball up entirely and focuses on his football career as a Bronco.
UPDATE: Martarano hasn't had the best spring, and his stock has slipped a tad to some. I still like the raw talent a lot, but the probability he plays football may be going up.
2012 Under Armour All-American JOEY MARTARANO powered by Baseball Factory (via baseballfactoryTV)
Joey Martarano Prospect Video, Fruitland HS (via Steve Fiorindo)
Minor League Ball (Matt Garrioch)
At the plate, Martarano has a long, strong swing. He has very good bat speed and gets good extension, which should allow him to hit for good average once he gets acclimated to better pitching. He will have a lot of swing and miss to start because of the long swing and the fact he is not a full time baseball player. The power potential from the swing and his strength could be impact tools. He is a good athlete, owning both power and speed that could impact at a star level if everything worked out.
Idaho Statesman (Rachel Roberts)