ROUND ROCK, Texas - Jose Martinez of the Omaha Storm Chasers finished the season with a .384 batting average earning him the honors as the 2015 Pacific Coast League Batting Champion, the league officially announced today.
His average sets a modern era record for the PCL, surpassing Rick Short's record of .383 that he obtained in 2005 with the New Orleans Zephyrs. Martinez's clip is also the highest the league has seen since Gene Woodling batted .385 for the San Francisco Seals in 1948. The PCL's all-time record belongs to Ox Eckhardt who hit .414 with the Mission Reds in 1933.
Martinez collected 131 hits in 341 at-bats (396 plate apperances) in his first Triple-A season, playing primarily as a first baseman and outfielder for the Storm Chasers. His hit total was compiled of 93 singles, 25 doubles, three triples, and ten home runs. The 27-year-old from La Guaira, Venezuela, also led the league in on-base percentage (.461), OPS (1.024), and had the third-best slugging percentage (.563). His on-base percentage is tied for the 12th-highest in the league's modern era.
The 2015 season was Martinez's ninth in professional baseball, as well as his first in the Kansas City Royals' organization. He signed a minor league contract with the Royals on Jan. 28, after playing the previous two seasons in the Atlanta Braves' farm system. His previous career-high in average was .319 with High-A Lynchburg in 2014, and his overall career average now stands at .296.
Martinez is the first Omaha player to win the PCL batting title since Mark Quinn led the league with a .360 average in 1999. The Omaha club has now won the honor three times since joining the league in 1998, tying Salt Lake for the most since the PCL expanded to 16 teams.
To be crowned a league's batting champion, hitters in Minor League Baseball must qualify with 2.7 plate appearances per league game scheduled, equating to 389 for the 144-game schedule in the PCL.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.