The Giants’ second pick of the day is the guy they were rumored to have been hot and heavy for as their number one pick. Walker Martin — a perfect name for a team that seeks out players who make good swing decisions, by the way — is a left-handed power hitting shortstop generally projected to go higher than 52nd.
It was someone on the MLB Network panel who mentioned the team’s interest in him at 16 — “They were all over this guy at 16 — they got him at 52” — and friend of the site Roger Munter added in the runup to and moments following the Giants’ second pick of the night:
Does sort of feel like this is setting up for Giants to grab Walker Martin with 2nd pick, a connection that was widely rumored for their 1st round pick. Getting him in 2nd would be pretty nifty trick.— Roger Munter (@rog61) July 10, 2023
That's really nice work by the organization for the top of their draft— Roger Munter (@rog61) July 10, 2023
Second year in a row they've gotten two legitimate 1st round talents— Roger Munter (@rog61) July 10, 2023
A couple of segments later, Martin got on a Zoom with the MLB Network panel and gave this great quote:
“Excited to be teammates with Bryce Eldridge.”
They met during the draft combine and now they’re in the same system. The San Francisco Giants haven’t drafted two high schoolers with their first two picks since 2013, when they selected Christian Arroyo and Ryder Jones and I don’t know if Arroyo and Jones became fast friends.
Harold Reynolds said he saw a lot of Chipper Jones in Martin’s game — a lofty comp, of course — but when he asked the Giants’ new shortstop prospect how he sees himself, the 19-year old responded:
“I saw more of my swing as Bryce Harper, honestly.”
“As an infielder, I feel like I fit the Corey Seager look.”
He led the nation in home runs hit by a high schooler this calendar year, and in 29 games, he put up a line of .633/.722/1.632 (2.354 OPS), 20 HR, 75 RBI.
Like his buddy Eldridge, he won the Gatorade Player of the Year for his home state of Colorado, and in their press release they note:
[...] he homered in nine straight games during one stretch this spring.
A football standout who was the state’s Class 3A Player of the Year as a quarterback in 2022, Martin also volunteers locally for a community cleanup day through his church and instructs youth baseball players at a barn his family built. “I competed against well over a dozen draftees and I can say with confidence that there were very few players that I was as impressed with as I was with Walker Martin,” said Dan Markoya, head coach at Basalt High School. “He was smooth defensively, had a quick release and had good range. From a hitting standpoint, he was aggressive, hit the ball hard, and looked very comfortable in any count. As you can imagine, we threw a heavy mix of changeups, curveballs and cutters to him and he stayed back while adjusting well to the different speeds and trajectories. In my seven-plus years coaching here in Colorado, I haven’t seen another player as talented as him.”
Perfect Game’s scouting report is just as bright:
BAT REALLY JUMPED OUT AT PG NATIONAL, POWERFUL LEFT-HANDED SWING WITH HIGH LEVEL BAT SPEED, TOOLS TO STAY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FIELD.
And like his buddy Eldridge, he was a college commit (University of Arkansas), but you’d like to think that so long as the Giants don’t try to nickel and dime these guys too much that Martin and Eldridge are primed to make the jump to the pros. Another power guy with people skills. The Giants have a type!