Growing up, Corbin Martin was a devoted Texas Longhorns fan. But, when Martin was searching for a university to continue his education and baseball career following high school, he didn’t commit to the Longhorns. Instead, he chose Texas A&M, officially enrolling in fall 2014.
“When I stepped on campus at A&M, I just felt at home,” Martin said. “The coaches made me feel like they really wanted me here. The surrounding area has nothing too big going on. I’m from a little country town so it helped me as if I was in the right place. That was a big factor.
“Baseball was coming up, and I wanted to be a part of something special. It wasn’t hard at all. It was a big moment in my life and something I don’t regret.”
Recruited as a two-way player, Martin has only pitched in his two seasons at Texas A&M with most of his work coming as a reliever. With the 2017 season quickly approaching, Martin doesn’t know what his role will be, but said he’d prefer to start.
Ranked by MLB.com as the 22nd-best prospect in June’s MLB First-Year Player Draft, this season is crucial for Martin. While he dominated opposing hitters in the Alaska and Cape Code college leagues the past two summers, Martin has struggled to throw strikes consistently with the Aggies.
Despite his name being tossed around in draft chatter, Martin isn’t worried about the expectations.
“I feel like it’s easy to not pay attention to that kind of stuff,” said Martin about the draft. “When people get caught up in that you can see it turns them around and instead of them focusing on the game, they are focusing on where they’re going to get drafted. I’ve always been focused on the team. It doesn’t affect me.”
A 6-foot-3, 200-pound right-hander, Martin averaged over seven walks per nine innings as a sophomore last year.
Following a frustrating season with the Aggies, he pitched in the prestigious Cape Code League last summer and looked like a completely different pitcher. Martin was one of the most electric relievers in the Cape, recording a 29-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 19 innings.
“I just stuck to the same plan that I had taught myself,” said Martin about his success on the Cape. “I had gotten away from that last year. I was trying to do too much. Just trusting myself. It was more mental than my physical abilities. I got rolling and it just felt easier going out there and repeating it.”
Martin pounded the zone last summer, which is something he’ll need to do this spring to have a shot at being a first-round pick. Possessing a three-pitch mix, Martin throws a mid-90s fastball that touched 98 mph last summer, a nasty curveball and a changeup.
Focused on carrying his success on the Cape over to the Aggies this spring, Martin devoted his off-season to refining his pitches.
“I just want to be able to repeat and throw a lot of strikes,” Martin said. “I want to throw a lot of innings, instead of being in the back watching. I changed my mentality and work ethic towards everything. I’m just focused on pitching.”
While Martin’s main goal for the 2017 college baseball season is to help Texas A&M win a national championship, his personal goals are just as simple.
“Just to throw strikes,” Martin said. “I haven’t shown consistently that I can throw strikes here. That’s a huge goal for me. Throw a lot of innings and be a leader on this team. Prove that I can pitch.”
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