The Los Angeles Dodgers couldn't have asked for a better professional debut from their top 2008 Draft pick.
Ethan Martin allowed two hits over five shutout innings Saturday as the Great Lakes Loons blanked the Dayton Dragons, 2-0, at Fifth Third Field.
After missing action last season due to a knee injury, the 19-year-old right-hander struck out leadoff batter David Sappelt to set the tone.
"It felt really great to get him out," Martin said. "That was my main goal going into the whole game, just getting the first batter. Once I got him to strike out, I was relaxed from then on."
The Georgia native relied predominantly on his fastball, which he was able to throw for strikes.
"I was just spotting with my fastball and then once they started hitting that, I had to go to my curveball," he said. "[It didn't have] the best of spin, but it was all right, enough to help me out and get me through the innings."
Martin used his changeup sparingly against a Dragons lineup that included only two left-handed hitters.
After striking out two in each of the first two innings, he gave up a leadoff single to Jordan Wideman in the third.
"I threw [Brandon Mechaca, the next batter] a fastball and he hit it right back to me," said Martin, who tossed to shortstop Devaris Gordon to start a double play.
After allowing a single and a walk in the fourth, Martin worked a perfect fifth before exiting.
"Our pitching coach [Danny Darwin] told me going into the game that I probably wouldn't go very deep into the game, it being my first start," he said.
The youngster was pleased with his first Minor League outing, jokingly voicing one concern.
"I felt really good the whole way through the game. The team played good. They got the runs to get the win. The only bad thing is, it can't get much better," he said.
Josh Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.