Robby Martin has had professional baseball aspirations for as long as he can remember. He’s always had a strong passion for the game and the competitive drive that has pushed him to achieve his goals.
As a senior at Jefferson High School in Florida in 2018, Martin’s dream nearly became a reality. Professional scouts flocked to see Martin play throughout his senior year, and most considered him a top-five-round talent.
But no MLB team met his signing bonus demands, as he went in the 37th round to the Miami Marlins, and instead honored his commitment to Florida State University. The outfielder believed Florida State was the best option for his develop in preparation for a future pro career.
“The development part was key for me wanting to come to Florida State,” Martin said. “I think coming to Florida State was definitely the best choice I could’ve made. I think I’ve improved a lot here on both sides of the ball and physically. I think it has been great to be here too for my mental and physical development.”
Martin has added about 30 pounds to his frame and enhanced his skills in all facets of the game during his first 2½ years at Florida State. His development has led to him being a key run producer for Florida State.
Martin’s success has positioned him to be a potential first-round pick in July’s draft. It will be an important year for Martin and his pro aspirations. He believes going through the draft process once before will allow him to focus his attention on Florida State’s success rather than the draft attention.
“I think it is different for me now than it was coming out of high school,” Martin said. “I think the talks of how high I might be going or stuff like that is different now. That changes things a little bit. I think just overall a college season plays differently than high school. High school baseball is a lot easier and less pressure.”
Martin immediately made an impact for the Seminoles as a freshman in 2018. He started his college career with a 10-game hitting streak. That start propelled Martin to hit .315 with 17 doubles, four home runs, and 54 RBIs in 216 at-bats in 63 games.
He was off to another strong start last year until the COVID-19 pandemic caused the college baseball season to end prematurely. Martin posted a .324 batting average with four doubles, one triple, and 14 RBIs in 68 at-bats in 17 games.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound left-handed hitter uses a natural upright stance and stride while possessing clean mechanics through the zone. Since his prep days, he has grown into more power and has been a reliable bat throughout his first two years at Florida State.
Martin is still more of a gap-to-gap hitter and drives the ball with authority to all parts of the field. Scouts hope to see him grow into his power even more this spring.
The junior outfielder also has a strong understanding of the strike zone, as he’s tallied 76 strikeouts compared to 45 walks in his first two years at Florida State.
“I think offensively just being able to put the barrel on the ball consistently is my biggest strength,” Martin said.
In the offseason, Martin worked on his defensive skills to improve his speed and arm strength. Both those tools are average right now, but Martin hopes to show growth in those areas this spring.
He profiles as a corner outfielder in the pro ranks, which is where he has played at Florida State and in the Cape Cod League.
“I think both corners in the outfield I view myself at long-term,” Martin said. “I have only played right field at Florida State, so I feel more comfortable playing there.”
In 2019, Florida State made an impressive run through the NCAA tournament to appear in the College World Series. Martin played a prominent role in the Seminoles’ success in his freshman year.
Martin hopes to experience similar results this spring. The Seminoles are a preseason favorite to return to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. They are searching for the program’s first-ever national championship, and Martin believes this season could be their year to capture the title.
“I just want to say watch out for Florida State this year,” Martin said. “I think we are going to be a really good team and really tough to beat. I think we will end up in Omaha again.”
Read more in-depth stories on top 2021 MLB draft prospects here.
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for six years. He’s interviewed 253 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he’s appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.