Angels add infield depth by signing former top prospect and first-round pick

The Angels have signed former first-round pick Richie Martin to a minor league deal.

Rochester second baseman Richie Martin takes the throw and turns a double play against Worcester.
Rochester second baseman Richie Martin takes the throw and turns a double play against Worcester. / Jamie Germano/Democrat and Chronicle /
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The Los Angeles Angels have finally made a move. It's not a move that will change much of anything, and isn't even a MLB deal, but hey, it's a move!

The Angels have inked former first-round pick Richie Martin to a minor league deal which includes an invitation to Spring Training. Martin is the second infielder the Angels have added this offseason, joining Alfonso Rivas who was claimed off of waivers in December.

Angels add infield depth in the form of a former first-round pick and top prospect

Martin was selected 20th overall in the 2015 MLB Draft by the Athletics and would become one of their top prospects. He was Oakland's fourth-best prospect in 2016 according to MLB.com, but the team selecting him did not pan out the way they had envisioned.

He struggled for much of his time in Oakland's system leading the A's to leave him unprotected from the Rule-5 Draft. Thanks to his first-round pedigree, the Orioles selected the shortstop with the first pick of the 2018 Rule-5 Draft.

With Baltimore going nowhere in the 2019 season and Martin being locked onto their active roster, he had a chance to play just about everyday that year. Unfortunately, he had just a .581 OPS and a 53 OPS+. He had brief stints with Baltimore in two of the next three years, but never quite stuck.

Last season, the 29-year-old spent the entire season in AAA Rochester, as part of the Nationals organization. His numbers there were far from spectacular, as he had just a .643 OPS in 113 games.

The Angels are taking a no-risk chance on a former first-round pick who has not panned out one bit. Chances are, it'll amount to nothing. Martin will slot in behind guys like Zach Neto and Luis Rengifo who have guaranteed MLB spots, and will also be behind guys like Kyren Paris and Michael Stefanic who don't.

In other words, things would have to go horribly wrong for him to actually see time with the Angels, and that's without the team adding any middle infielders. You can never have enough depth, and signing someone who has MLB experience isn't a bad thing.

Some minor league signees have a clear path to the majors, but Martin does not. It'd be hard to imagine him seeing time in Anaheim.

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