NYPL notes: Martin tapping into potential

Astros' second-round pick focused on improving with ValleyCats

Corbin Martin, a Houston native, has allowed two earned runs in 15 innings since joining Tri-City on July 21. (Tri-City ValleyCats)

By Craig Forde / Special to MiLB.com | August 10, 2017 10:00 AM ET

Though Corbin Martin may have turned the page on his college days, he's found there is plenty of higher learning to be had in professional baseball.

The Astros' second-round pick in the 2017 Draft has been able to take what he learned at Texas A&M into some early Minor League success.

With an open mind, he's been making tweaks and adjustments that have helped him tap into his potential. And with just a glance at his stat line, it's easy to see they are paying off. 

"There's some small adjustments," Martin said. "You take what you learned in college and you bring that here. They're going to tweak you and teach you some stuff that they know. And they definitely know much more stuff than I did. That's why they coach here. I'm definitely all ears. Every day they have something to tell me and teach me. It's pretty cool to know that there's more out there for me to learn and adjust to."

The lessons are paying off for Martin, the Astros' No. 19 prospect, who was afforded a slight break following the end of his season with the Aggies before heading to Houston's training facilities in Florida.

From there it was two successful stints in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, where he allowed just one walk and struck out five in five innings, earning him his first promotion to Tri-City on July 21.

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"After our season ended in college, they gave me a couple weeks off. I think that really helped my body get back to a healthy mode," said Martin, a Houston native. "That helped me transition up here. It's been a fun journey so far."

Making the most of a 60-pitch limit, Martin has continued to roll through three outings with the ValleyCats, posting a 1.20 ERA, 0.53 WHIP and 23 strikeouts in 15 innings while holding opponents to a .122 average in the Class A Short Season New York-Penn League.

"[I am] just taking it slow after the college year," Martin said. "It's nice to get out there and try to throw as many [innings] as I can with 60 [pitches], every five days. That's another thing I've been adjusting to is the shorter schedule. But they've done a really good job with taking care of us between [outings] and teaching us things that will keep our body in shape."

It's been all about those teachable moments for Martin, who is always looking to improve on his four-pitch arsenal -- fastball, curve, change, slider. Taking a "one day at a time" approach has provided him the luxury of focusing on what he needs to do to improve upon the day before.

"They always can get better," Martin said. "Every week I feel like one is getting better and better. Once I put them all together, it's like a puzzle. The way I am, I never really look too far into the future. I like to focus on the day. … I just stay focused on the stuff that's going on right now. That's the goal, do what I need to do today to get better."

In brief

Eye of the tiger: Despite a late start to his pro career, Greg Deichmann, Oakland's No. 18 prospect, has been quick to catch up to the pack. A second-round selection out of LSU this past June, the Vermont outfielder has hit safely in 19 of 23 games and boasts a .983 OPS since his July 11 pro debut. Of his 26 hits, he has a team-high 12 for extra bases, including a team-best three triples, which is tied for third in the league. Deichmann had not recorded a triple in 72 games with LSU this year.

Returning serve: After a scoreless, two-inning pro debut in the Gulf Coast League, Nick Raquet has carried over his success since joining Auburn. In six appearances for the Doubledays, the Nationals' No. 16 prospect has a 1.88 ERA in 24 innings. Over his last two starts, the third-round selection out of the University of North Carolina is 1-1 with a 0.00 ERA, 0.60 WHIP and a .139 opposing batting average. The southpaw has also held left-handed hitters to a .179 average during his time in Auburn.

Catching up with the Jones: Indians No. 5 prospect Nolan Jones is heating up after a slow start. The Mahoning Valley infielder hit .257 in 10 June games, then .238 over 24 games in July, but finished last month with a couple of multi-hit efforts that have trickled into the last full month of the season. Cleveland's second-round selection in 2016, Jones strung together five straight multi-hit games and has a seven-game hitting streak during which he has a .464/.559/.679 slash line to go with nine RBIs and eight runs scored.

Craig Forde is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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