How Fernando Martinez is Like Kindle Fire

NY Daily News

There was never anything phenomenal about Fernando Martinez. He was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2005 by explorer Omar Minaya. Minaya seemed to have some success in the past down in those waters, but Martinez was supposed to be the top prize.

After years and years of hearing he was the future, the love story has finally come to an end. Fernando Martinez is now a Houston Astro thanks to Sandy Alderson placing him on waivers. It seems like only yesterday F-Mart was the talk of the town. He was that can’t-miss prospect that all publications were drooling over. But quite frankly, he wasn’t all that good, ever.

As I look at it, Fernando Martinez is that toy you got on Christmas. You remember that toy, don’t you? For me this year, it’s the Kindle Fire. When I first got it, I couldn’t put it down. I was browsing all over the internet, syncing my emails, downloading books, etc… Fernando Martinez was that toy for a while. He was the number-one ranked prospect in the Mets organization in 2007 and 2008. I’m sure you know that by now.

He once was the 20th-best prospect in all of baseball. That was four years ago. As the weeks have gone on, I don’t play with my Kindle as much. I read three novels on it (Read “The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach; great novel). I look at it and ask, “What else do you have to offer?” Fernando Martinez is my Kindle Fire, minus the various features and apps. He offered me so much promise, yet will remain behind my Macbook and iPhone. Fernando Martinez is that old toy.

I don’t really know what to say at this point. Martinez once ruled the baseball world like Queen Elizabeth. He looked good very young, but grew old very quick. But what was really so attractive about Martinez in the first place? His best WAR was a 1.5, which happened in 2008, which caused the Mets to believe that he was ready. He was not. His career minor league slash: .274/.333/.443. Not impressive. While scouts raved about his fielding, we all will remember him for falling flat on his face, going after a ball in Milwaukee. That’s what all of baseball remembers him as. He never developed the power that fans thought and quite frankly, I don’t think he’ll ever be a third of what he was hyped to be.

As the Fernando Martinez era has come to a close in New York, let him serve as a reminder. STOP OVERHYPING PROSPECTS BECAUSE PEOPLE LAUGH AT US! Add Martinez to the list of Alex Escobar, Alex Ochoa, Lastings Milledge. Coming soon will be Wilmer Flores because he’s showing exactly what Martinez showed: heartbreak and nothing worth playing with the next day. Sure I am bitter. I want the Mets prospects to pan out and lead us to the promise land. But why does it always happen to us? Why can’t it happen to the Yankees? Or the Phillies (crosses fingers: Dominic Brown)? Maybe Fernando will find himself in a new city. Houston, we have lift off!

Kyle Schnitzer's biggest memory as a Mets fan is when Carlos Beltran went down on strike 3 against Adam Wainwright in game 7 of the NLCS. Since then, he hasn't expected much from the Mets. The new regime gives him hope. When he's not writing here, he's writing somewhere else, bussing tables, tweeting, or riding his bike. Follow him on Twitter: @dakyleschnitzer
  1. Paul Festa January 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm
    I totally agree. Nice post.
  2. Chris January 12, 2012 at 1:46 pm
    “Kyle Schnitzer’s biggest memory as a Mets fan is when Carlos Beltran went down on strike 3 against Adam Wainwright in game 7 of the NLCS. ”

    Try remembering Piazza’s post 9-11 HR vs the Braves. Or the ball dribbling between Buckner’s legs and Knight scoring. Hell a better memory would be Knight punching the daylights out of Eric Davis.

    PS – Baseball America ranked Fernando #20. Their rankings are their own. It has nothing to do with over-hyping prospects. He was a talented player who was slowed by injuries. This happens in baseball.

    • Joe Janish January 13, 2012 at 12:03 am
      Hey did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Why so harsh on Kyle? He’s barely in his 20s — born post-Buckner and too young to remember Piazza’s bomb.

      Sucks getting old, doesn’t it?

  3. derek January 12, 2012 at 3:18 pm
    its not just the mets….the media does the same with the yankee system too….but the hype does help us trade them away for better pieces sometimes…works both ways…how many top yankee prospects have been traded away and never did anything in the majors….

    phil humber, wily mo pena, eric milton, eric duncan, f mart, list goes on….

  4. Phil Humber January 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm
    I never played for the Yankees.
  5. Bill January 12, 2012 at 5:19 pm
    Actually, I totally want the Mets to overhype their prospects – AND THEN TRADE THEM. The shame of Martinez for the Mets is that they didn’t turn him as a prospect into proven major-league talent when they could have. Most prospects don’t pan out, that’s just how the way it works.

    Compare to Atlanta which has been very good at trading their their overhyped prospects for real major leaguers, only to have the prospects flame out for the other team.

    • Mike B January 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm
      Now thats something I can get behind, Trading prospects for Major League proven talent. Is that how Atlanta has been good since I was 12 in 1993?
    • Izzy January 13, 2012 at 9:03 am
      Every team over over hypes their prospects. You don’t see it because you aren’t around other teams cities. I live outside NYC and I guarantee you its so. And I don’t believe there is one team that buys the pr from another. Unless somebody has fired all their scouts.
      • Mike B January 13, 2012 at 11:21 am
        Absolutely, you can see that in Philly with Domincick Brown or many of the Yankee Prospects. My point is why not trade them when there value is high instead of doing what we did. There is nothing like proven talent.
  6. ben in houston January 12, 2012 at 11:53 pm
    will take a flyer on this kid any day of the week. even with his .260 BA and 8 HRs in Buffalo he instantly becomes our best AAA outfielder! Haha ya our system is a joke in Houston. change of scenery could be good tho, we’ll see. sad part his he may be the front runner for our RF position come March..ya.
  7. Seth January 13, 2012 at 1:04 pm
    The Tokyo Yakult Swallows (the Japanese team I follow) picked up Milledge in the off-season, so I am still all in on the Lastings Milledge Era. Talk about worlds colliding.
    • Mike B January 13, 2012 at 1:19 pm
      Arent they doing a Mr Baseball reality show with Milledge in Japan?