Austin Martin knocks five hits, drives in four

June 20th, 2021

Hitting has always been the tool that has shone brightest for Austin Martin. As a star at Vanderbilt and MLB Pipeline’s No. 2 prospect in the 2020 Draft, the shortstop has always been expected to get it done with the bat.

On Saturday, Martin showed why his bat carries such lofty projections with a career-high five hits in a monster day at the plate. MLB Pipeline’s No. 16 overall prospect finished 5-for-6, smacked two doubles and three singles, drove in four runs, scored two, stole a base and struck out in New Hampshire’s 15-2 drubbing of Hartford.

Toronto’s No. 2 prospect got started with a ground-ball single into left field for his first knock of the day. He singled again with two outs in the second inning to the same spot, a two-out knock that scored Samad Taylor to put the Fisher Cats up 5-0. Martin showed off his wheels with a steal of second, his third stolen base of the season.

Martin continued to pepper balls to left field with his eighth double of the season in the fourth, a grounder down the left-field line that scored Taylor. The ball got caught in the tarp and was ruled a ground-rule double. The 22-year-old scored on Otto Lopez’s single on the next play.

His fourth hit of the night was a single that was dumped into right field with one out in the sixth, and Martin would score later in the inning. His fifth at bat came in the seventh, with New Hampshire leading 11-1. Martin increased that lead with his ninth double of the year, a line drive to the right-center gap that plated two more runs. He’d come up again with the bases loaded in the eighth inning but struck out on four pitches.

Martin’s big night in the box was his ninth multihit game of the season. The shortstop has recorded a hit in 23 of his 34 games this season and has a knock in 10 of his last 11 games, going 15-for-43 for a .349 average with four doubles over that span dating back to June 6.

On the year, the highly touted Blue Jays prospect is slashing .287/.396/.419 for an .815 OPS. 12 of Martin’s 37 hits have gone for extra bases, but he has yet to show much over-the-fence power with two homers. He has remained patient in his approach by drawing 19 walks and upped his slugging percentage from a .353 mark in May to .492 in June, showing his adjustment to the professional game.