The single most underrated prospect in the Royals system, in my opinion, is an outfielder from Mississippi named Rudy Martin. We’ve covered him plenty here at Royals Farm Report, and rightfully so. The 5′ 7″ LHH outfielder currently owns a .267/.433/.373 slash line with the Royals High-A affiliate, the Wilmington Blue Rocks. This is right on par with his impressive career slash line of .281/.399/.410 in the Minor Leagues, which includes 76 stolen bases in 148 career games.
If you’ve never read any of our other stuff on Rudy Martin, you may be wondering why the 22-year old isn’t a more highly touted prospect among the national media. The reason for that, is that Martin has only played in 148 career games, spanning 4 seasons in the minors. Some bad luck and freak accidents have kept Martin off the field longer than anyone would like, but his play on the field has been impressive, to say the least, when he’s healthy.
Go ahead and check out some of our stuff on Martin if this is the first time you’ve heard the name, you’re going to want to be very familiar with him:
Rudy was kind enough to answer some questions about himself, and we’ve got that interview for you right here. Enjoy, and become familiar with the name and the player.
Q: “A lot of people have already started the Jarrod Dyson comparisons. Dys had a couple of great seasons on a world championship team, so I’m sure those comparisons are cool, but how do you feel you compare to a guy like Dyson?”
Rudy: “I think it’s pretty cool being compared to him. Getting to be around him a couple times when he was with us always a good time to pick up on things. And I think I compare pretty good to him & it’s an honor to be compared to a guy like Dyson seeing that we both have speed, good defense, and can swing it. Definitely one of the players I try to model my game after.”
Q: “I’ve always found it fascinating when it comes to runners with your ability, how you handle base running. How do you balance wanting to steal bases, with staying on first and trying to get your hitter an extra fastball or two? Is that a decision you make or do your coaches make that for you?”
Rudy: “Really just depends on the time and situation of the game. If I’m on first base and it’s a close game then I know I have to find a way to get into scoring position so that my teammates can drive me in. A lot of the time when I’m on base and it’s a steal situation my teammates get a lot of fastballs because the pitcher is too focused on trying to get me out, and if I’m not stealing no matter what my teammate or whoever is hitting behind will get a good fastball to drive. And as far as the decision, I always have the green light. Obviously there’s times in games where you can’t run, but in any other situation I’m looking to advance a base always!”
Q: “You obviously command the plate very well. You’re currently walking in 21% of your PA’s and your OBP is well over .400. When do you think you learned to command the strike zone like that and how has your zone discipline developed since joining the Royals?”
Rudy: “It’s just something I have to do. I have to be able to draw walks so that I get on base to score runs. I think I still have more to work on being that I’m striking out a little bit more than I want but with me drawing as many walks it evens out. What helped me with my discipline started in high school when my dad got onto me about swinging too much and swinging at every pitch. So I learned to just take the off speed pitches til 2 strikes unless I knew it was coming. But that was just high school, it’s obviously a little bit tougher now being that pitchers are better but it’s something the royals really preach to us. Zone discipline and for me having a high OBP is what I MUST have if I wanna make it.”
Q: “You have absolutely man handled pitchers that you’ve faced so far in your career. Career .281/.399/.410 hitter in the minor leagues. I think we can both agree that maybe the biggest thing for you is to stay healthy and put these numbers up over the course of 100 games. What are some things that you and your training staff do on a daily basis to keep your body in good shape to play every day?”
Rudy: “This leg injury was pretty unfortunate because I’ve never had any problems with my legs because I do so much treatment before and after games, we do speed work, and also lifting. So I’ve always taken care of my legs.. I’ve always hated ice baths but in spring training I started doing it and it helped out a little bit. So as far as our strength coaches, and trainers, they are great with helping me get whatever I need done to stay on the field. The other part is on me and it all starts with simply staying hydrated and having the fluids in me which was pretty much the cause of my tightness in my hammy. Other than that we’ve done a pretty great job. Unfortunately the past injuries I had weren’t short term injuries and they were freak injuries that I couldn’t help.”
Q: “According to the national media, the Royals have one of the weaker systems in baseball. Royals fans, myself included, don’t buy it. They don’t follow you guys on a daily basis like I do. Speak to some of the guys that you play with (in the Royals system) that you think are underrated and have legitimate shots to make an impact in the big leagues in the future.”
Rudy: “I think we have a bunch of talent in our organization. We have a lot of guys that give it their all every time they’re on the field and even my team here in Wilmington, we have the best team chemistry I’ve ever been apart of. But that doesn’t speak for the rest of our organization everyone respects everyone and we definitely have guys in our system that’s slept on by the media.”
Q: “What’s something that you want Royals fans to know about you?”
Rudy: “I would like them to know that I’m a peoples person, I always keep a smile on my face, always respectful, always humble, and they will always get 110% out of me no matter what.”
Royals fans, this is a kid you need to get behind. You won’t find him on many national prospect lists, but you better believe that those of us here at Royals Farm Report have taken notice of Rudy Martin. The kid is legit and when he puts together a full season with this kind of success, look out. He’s going to fly up prospect lists. Make sure you know who he is now so that you can tell your friends that you knew about Rudy Martin before he was MLB Pipeline famous.