Outfielder Nick Martini , who played for the NC Dinos in the KBO League last year, has emerged as a fortune for the Cincinnati Reds in the Major League.
Martini started as the fifth batter and left fielder in the second game of a doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs on the 2nd (Korean time) and hit a dramatic tying home run in the 9th inning when the team was down 1-2. He caught Cubs closing pitcher Adbert Aljo Ray’s low slider on the third pitch and sent it over the right field fence. Third home run of the season. Following the first game of the double header, a thrilling game-tying home run came in the 9th inning with one out and no runner on base when the loss was in sight in the second game.
Cincinnati, boosted by Martini’s single, won 3-2 with a hit by Christian Encarnacion-Strand, a steal of second base by pinch runner Stuart Fairchild, and a walk-off hit by Noel B Marte at third base with two outs following an opponent’s error.
Cincinnati, which became 70-67 with the win that day, continued its hopes for fall baseball by finishing in 5th place, one game behind the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks (70-65 losses), tied for 3rd place in the National League (NL) wild card.
According to MLB.com, after the game, Martini said, “It was even more amazing because it was a win against a good team. “A come-from-behind win in the 9th inning will be a great help to the team,” he said. “It’s always difficult to have players out, but we overcame this and many players came together as one and played a good game.” Cincinnati’s starting pitchers, including Hunter Green, Ben Raibilli, and Fernando Cruz, have been confirmed with COVID-19, so leaving the rotation is inevitable for the time being.
Martini, who signed a minor league contract with Cincinnati last February, was called up on the 23rd of last month after playing for the Triple-A Louisville Bats this year with a batting average of .275 (95 hits in 345 at-bats), 15 home runs, 65 RBI, and an OPS of .875 in 93 games. In the major league, where he returned after two years, he is active in 11 games with a batting average of .276 (8 hits in 29 at-bats), 3 home runs, 7 RBIs, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts, an on-base percentage of .364, a slugging percentage of .621, and an OPS of .985.
In the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on the 26th of last month, he hit 4 RBIs with his first and second multiple home runs of the season, and then hit hard against Arizona the next day with 3 hits and 2 RBIs in 4 at-bats. He also entered the center of the batting order 4 to 6 times. With Martini becoming a source of vitality in a situation where the batting lineup is weak, Cincinnati is also maintaining its hopes of advancing to the postseason for the first time in three years.
Martini, a left-handed hitting outfielder who made his major league debut with the Oakland Athletics in 2018, came to Korea last year after playing for the San Diego Padres and Chicago Cubs. After signing with NC for a total of $800,000, he performed well in 139 games with a batting average of .209, 6 ERA (151 hits in 510 at-bats), 16 home runs, 85 RBI, 12 stolen bases, 51 walks, 86 strikeouts, an on-base percentage of .365, a slugging percentage of .461, and an OPS of .826. .
He played the full season healthy without any injuries and showed competitiveness as a mid- to long-distance hitter, but failed to renew his contract after the season. As a foreign hitter, his slugging power was somewhat poor, and due to the NC team’s circumstances, he often appeared in an unfamiliar first base position and his defense was disappointing with 12 errors. NC lifted the right of hold without offering a renewal, but other teams in the KBO League also ignored Martini and he left Korea after one year.
Martini, who returned to the United States, signed a minor league contract with Cincinnati and is taking advantage of the opportunity that came to him in the major leagues at the end of the season. Last year, NC finished in 6th place, so we may be able to play fall baseball in the major leagues, which we were unable to do in Korea.