Francis Martes had once been a top pitching prospect for the Houston Astros. However, time is running out for him to realize his potential.
It was not that long ago that Francis Martes was considered one of the top pitching prospects in the game. In 2016 and 2017, the Houston Astros minor leaguer was considered a consensus top 100 prospect, ranking in the top 30 prior to 2017. Martes was expected to be a top of the rotation talent, a pitcher that the Astros could build around.
Then 2017 happened. Martes did make his major league debut that year, but struggled. Over the course of his 54.1 innings, Martes posted a 5.80 ERA and a 1.509 WHiP. While he did strike out an impressive 69 batters, he also issued 31 walks. His time in the minors was not that much better, as he posted a 5.29 ERA and a 2.103 WHiP in his 32.1 innings in Fresno.
Last season was a lost year. Martes made a total of five appearances in the minors before being shut down due to Tommy Joh surgery, but hardly impressed. He posted a combined 6.41 ERA and a 2.186 WHiP, striking out 17 batters while issuing 17 walks in his 19.2 innings. Injuries could have explained that performance, but his issues in the previous year certainly led to a lot of questions.
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Then came the news that Martes had been suspended for 80 games for PED usage. He tested positive for Clomiphene, a steroid which is used by women who do not ovulate. Usage of this drug can lead to an increased occurrence of twins. So, if Martes has twins, we know what happened.
Meanwhile, Martes suspension brings his future into question. Yes, he is only 23 years old at this point, but his work in the upper minors, and the major league level, brings his future into question. Martes will need to show a great deal of improvement at AAA before he returns to the majors. His days of being one of the top prospects in the game, even if they were two years ago, feel so far behind him.
At this point, Martes essentially needs to re-establish himself for the Astros. He should have that chance at the end of the 2019 season, as he works his way back from his surgery to attempt to reach the majors once again. This time, Martes will need to show far more than he has to this point in his career as he looks to prove to be a viable option in Houston.
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Even though he is just 23 years old, time is running out for Francis Martes to make an impression for the Houston Astros. His first attempts have not gone well, leaving his future in question.