This prospect went from on base to a new team

May 4th, 2024

The patrons of Minor League Baseball are perhaps more accustomed to odd game delays than their Major League counterparts (see Tuesday’s bee incident), but Friday’s San Antonio Missions game still left many scratching their heads.

In the top of the third inning, now-Marlins prospect Nathan Martorella was on second base when he was lifted for a pinch-runner. He pointed to himself as if to say, “Who, me?” before exiting the field.

Shortly thereafter, Martorella and teammate Jakob Marsee gathered their equipment and headed to the clubhouse, hugging teammates and coaches along the way. The two were traded -- with fellow Padres prospect Dillon Head and right-handed reliever Woo-Suk Go -- to the Marlins for second baseman Luis Arraez and cash considerations on Saturday.

While the midgame move was jarring for Martorella and Marsee, it was fitting that the two -- who were batting second and third in the San Antonio order -- left the field and the organization together. In many ways, their careers have been mirror images. They were drafted by San Diego in 2022, Martorella in the fifth round and Marsee in the sixth round. After a few weeks in the Arizona Complex League, they were promoted to Single-A Lake Elsinore together.

Last season, the duo played for High-A Fort Wayne before moving up to Double-A San Antonio on the same day. At season’s end, they were teammates for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League, where Marsee was named league MVP.

After Martorella and Marsee’s rushed departure, the game went on without a hitch, but it was just another reminder -- you never know what you’re going to see in the Minors.