Texas Rangers prospect Julio Pablo Martinez has been promoted from the Dominican Summer League to Spokane of the Northwest League, per Evan Grant on Twitter. He will be on the roster of the Spokane Indians when Northwest League play begins on Friday, June 15.
Martinez was the Rangers’ consolation prize this past offseason for missing out on Shohei Ohtani — Texas had hoarded international free agent bonus money via trades in an effort to sign Ohtani, and when that was unsuccessful, they inked Martinez, a Cuban player who was declared a free agent (but subject to the international bonus pool restrictions) earlier this year, to a deal that included a $2.8 million bonus.
Martinez, who turned 22 in March, is a true centerfielder, a lefthanded hitter with a well-rounded game who has invoked comparisons to Curtis Granderson. He has generally been reported to be at the level of a high-A or AA player in terms of present skills, but given the lengthy layoff he has had from baseball, the Rangers are easing him into action by having him play initially in the Dominican Summer League, and now in the short-season A Northwest League.
Martinez put up a .409/.606/.682 slash line in 33 plate appearances over 7 games in the DSL. My guess is that he will spend a few weeks getting acclimated to the United States and playing here for Spokane, and if he performs well and shows he can handle things, he will move to full season ball sometime in July.