All-Star Kyle Martin Returns to Goldeyes for 2021
By Steve Schuster, Winnipeg Goldeyes
WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes re-signed first baseman Kyle Martin on Wednesday.
Martin returns for his third season in Winnipeg and is coming off a 2020 campaign in which he was voted the American Association’s Postseason All-Star at first base. The Greenville, South Carolina native finished ninth in the league in batting average (.301), tied for ninth in home runs (16), first in RBI (51), and tied for first in wins above replacement (2.9). Martin was one of only eight players to appear in all 60 games on the American Association’s abbreviated schedule, and was named the inaugural Shaw Hardest Working Goldeyes Player at the conclusion of the season.
“To me, Kyle was the MVP of the league last year,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney. “He had a remarkable season. He’s a great run-producer, he loves to play the game, and he plays hurt if he has to. I’m not sure he was even 50 percent health-wise over the last month of the season, and you saw how productive he still was. In my opinion, he’s the best defensive first baseman in the league as well. He’s really important to our club, and I’m thrilled to have him back in the middle of our lineup.”
Martin went consecutive games without a base hit just three times the entire season, and rattled off a career-high 12-game hitting streak from July 15th-26th (16-for-43, .372). A left-handed batter and defender, Martin posted a .314 batting average in 86 at bats against left-handed pitching, which also included five of his 16 home runs. Defensively, Martin led all American Association first basemen with 36 assists, ranked second in fielding percentage (.992), and first in defensive wins above replacement (0.18). On September 5th at St. Paul, the 6-foot-2, 240-pound Martin slugged a home run with a Trackman-confirmed exit velocity of 108 mph. Since first joining the Goldeyes in 2019, Martin’s 118 RBI are the most of any player in the American Association.
Now 28 years of age, Martin is entering his seventh season of professional baseball, and was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the fourth round in 2015 out of the University of South Carolina (Columbia, South Carolina). Martin has a lifetime .241 batting average in 561 professional games, and has averaged 89 runs scored, 33 doubles, 25 home runs, 102 RBI, and 65 walks per 162 contests.
Martin is the Goldeyes’ first announced player signing for the 2021 season. American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which is scheduled to begin in May.
Notes: Martin is the first Goldeye to lead the league in RBI since Jimmy Hurst paced the Northern League with 78 RBI in 2006…Martin homered against four former Major League pitchers in 2020, including Henderson Alvarez (Milwaukee), Tyler Danish (Sioux Falls), Bradin Hagens (Fargo-Moorhead), and Drew Hutchison (Milwaukee)…Martin reached the Double-A level on two occasions during his time in the Phillies’ organization…Martin helped the University of South Carolina reach the College World Series during his freshman season in 2012, and earned NCAA All-American honours as a senior in 2015…dating back to July 1st, 2019, Martin has 110 RBI in his last 120 games in a Goldeyes’ uniform…Martin’s 46 strikeouts in 2020 were the second-fewest in the American Association among players with at least 10 home runs
The Winnipeg Goldeyes and the American Association intend to play the 2021 season, and expect a schedule to be released in the coming weeks.
For information on 2021 Goldeyes season tickets, 10-game mini packs, and group tickets, call the Goldeyes’ office at (204) 982-BASE, or visit the Goldeyes’ official website at www.goldeyes.com