3. Davis Martin, RHP
6’2” 200 lb
It feels like yesterday, but Davis Martin sliced/diced the loaded Florida Gator lineup and lead the Red Raiders to our first, and only, College World Series victory in Omaha. Unfortunately for Tech fans, Davis wasn’t able to build on that success in 2017.
I’m sure Davis would be the first person to tell you that 2017 was a forgettable year. Pesky elbow injuries plagued his season and we only got nine starts from Martin. Despite his 3.07 ERA, his starts tended to end early, and there wasn’t the same “bite” on his sinker that we saw his freshman year. Fair or not, I’ll likely remember the fact that Martin was only able to go 3.1 innings against Sam Houston State in a game that proved very disappointing for our Red Raiders. Although, I’d like to point out that his start in Austin against Texas was a gem. It’s never easy to beat the Longhorns, and Martin has made it his mission on two consecutive years.
All reports indicate that Martin will slide back into his Friday role, and it’s safe to assume he’s fully recovered on the injury front. What makes Martin so special is his ability to pound the strike zone, give up few walks, and force batters into tons of double plays. At his best, you’ll see him sit at 91-93 mph with his fastball, and he’ll have strong bite on his off-speed pitches that come in around 80-83. I wouldn’t say Martin has an “out” pitch like Gingery does with his changeup, but it’ll be interesting to see if he’s developed one for his junior campaign. The best sinker ball pitchers thrive if they can sit around 94-95 with their fastballs, so it’s absolutely something to track this season to see if Martin has made that jump.
I won’t mince words when I say that Davis Martin returning to a 10-win pitcher could mean the world for this team. The Big 12 is as strong as ever, and our schedule is loaded. We can’t afford for Martin to have any off games to be honest. In typical bittersweet fashion, if Martin has the type of year he’s capable of - there’s little doubt in my mind he’ll be draft in the Top 10 rounds of the MLB draft and will leave the Red and Black as one of the most decorated pitchers in school history.