Washington Nationals Player Profile: Jason Martinson


Jason Martinson will get the chance to go to his first Major League spring training after a strong 2015 season in triple-A

Yesterday, the Washington Nationals released their full list of non-roster invitees for spring training in Viera, Florida. Some notable players that were given invites were pitching prospects Lucas Giolito and Austin Voth.  On that list, there were four infielders, two of which have never played in a Major League game. One of those players is Jason Martinson, who played the entire 2015 season with triple-A Syracuse.

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In 131 games last season, the 27-year-old had a slash line of .218/.299/.380 with 19 home runs and 56 RBI’s. While the average is low, he was by far the team’s best power hitter. His 19 home runs were 11 more than the player with the second most home runs (Kevin Keyes, Matt den Dekker, and Matt Skole had eight) and he had the most RBI’s on the Chiefs squad. Also, he was a frequent selection for Syracuse hitter of the week last season during our Minor League Monday series.

The Nationals selected Martinson in the fifth round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of Texas State University. He has spent his entire career in the organization and he was a Nats’ MILB organizational All-Star back in 2012 when he hit 22 home runs and drove in 106 combined runs with low-A Potomac and high-A Harrisburg.

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Last season, he was the only Syracuse Chief player to go to the triple-A All-Star Game after hitting .245 with 14 home runs and 51 RBI’s in the first half of the season. However, in the second half, his average dropped to .166 with five home runs and 15 RBI’s over his final 44 games. Martinson’s strikeout numbers were also high last season. His 189 K’s were the second most of any player in the International League, two fewer than Matt Davidson of the Charlotte Knights (Chicago White Sox).

From a defensive perspective, Martinson does have the ability to play different positions. While he played 77 games at third base last season, he also played second base, left field, right field, and shortstop. Six of his 11 errors came as a third baseman (four at shortstop, one at second base).

Martinson’s chances aren’t good at making the team when you consider Anthony Rendon is back at third base and if there is an injury, Washington has depth with fellow non-roster invitees Brendan Ryan and Scott Sizemore or Danny Espinosa (if they decide to move Trea Turner to shortstop).

While his chances aren’t great to make the team this season, it is great to see Martinson get to participate in his first Major League spring training and he can bring the team power and versatility, even if it is only at the triple-A level.