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MLB Draft Target Profile: Walker Martin

Martin is one of the top draft prospects in the state of Colorado’s history

MLB: JUN 15 Rockies at Braves Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As part of our ongoing preview of the upcoming 2023 MLB draft, over the next week we’ll be looking at draft prospects who have been linked to the Atlanta Braves along with prospects that would profile well in the system.


The best high school position player that Colorado has produced in decades, Walker Martin is a left-handed hitting shortstop from Eaton High School who many see likely to go in the first round of the draft. In particular he has been connected to the Atlanta Braves, who have been consistently projected around similar high school position players. Martin is everything scouts look for in a high school player, with the potential to make an impact on both sides of the ball. Martin projects to gain strength and power as he matures, and has already shown the ability to hit the ball against high level high school competition in showcases. It is often hard to gain recognition in a cold weather state like Martin has played in, but his hype exploded with his summer performance last season and his profile has continued to grow since.

Martin has a mechanically simple swing and has the ability to get the bat to the ball in any part of the zone. His hit tool is the best of his tools, and there is plenty of evidence to show he will be a high level hitter as a professional even without a long track record of amateur success. The rest of his game garners a bit more skepticism, but there is potential in all areas with his athleticism and 6’2 frame. The only thing really going against him is his age, as he has already turned 19 and thus will be an older player among the prep ranks. Martin also carries a commitment to Arkansas, where he could improve his stock even more, and thus will not be a cheap player to sign.

Why he fits with the Braves

Atlanta loves their two-sport players, and as a quarterback for his high school and their star baseball player he quite clearly fits that mold. His athleticism makes him a natural target high in the draft, and there is a mold the Braves have seemingly looked for up-the-middle in recent years. The team is confident in their ability to develop players defensively, and while Martin doesn’t have the actions at shortstop to give scouts 100% confidence in his ability to stick there, he does have the foot speed and a strong enough arm to play there. The Braves are also keen on taking players they believe they can unlock more power potential from, and while Martin currently shows more gap power than home run power he has the natural strength, bat speed, and body projection that gives him potential to grow into it. He isn’t a player the Braves will have to make drastic changes to in regards to his swing, although his lack of exposure to high level competition hasn’t really given anyone a good feel for how his approach will play. Despite his solid overall swing it’s likely the Braves would want to make some alterations to his swing path to unlock that power, but the Braves also love those sort of challenges and have consistently given the development team players like Martin with the faith they can mold them. The Braves have a lack of position player talent at all levels, and Martin would immediately inject excitement into that group.

Why he doesn’t fit with the Braves

Money is probably the biggest answer to this question, as it will probably take at slot or very close to it in order to sign Martin away from Arkansas. The Braves are willing to sink that sort of money into the player that they think fits them perfectly, but the perfect player often isn’t there at 24 and whether the Braves like Martin that much is a question. The Braves may also simply value defensive stability more in the upper rounds (such as the Langeliers pick) and may prefer to hold off on the riskier development path until the later rounds. The Braves have not spent more than $2 million on a high school position player since Jeff Francoeur in 2002. Martin’s other drawback is that a lot of his power is based on pure projection, though the Braves haven’t seemed too hesitant to bet on projection in past drafts. Even a similar, older player in Braden Shewmake they were willing to spend a high pick and over $3 million on largely because they believed they could unlock more power and better defense from him.

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