When the Toronto Blue Jays drafted Austin Martin fifth overall last month, they got a rare skillset that his agent Scott Boras calls “dirt power.”
“Austin is a player that, in past drafts, could’ve likely been the No. 1 pick in the draft. He’s a unique player because he, like Kris Bryant, is so versatile because he can play infield and outfield positions and do it with great comfort,” Boras said during an appearance on Writers Bloc on Thursday. “Plus, his bat has that kind of power that you would expect more from a larger player — more of a corner outfielder — and yet he’s got infield size. We call it ‘dirt power,’ and it’s pretty rare for a player to have dirt power. I think the Blue Jays got themselves something pretty special here.”
Boras just successfully negotiated Martin’s first pro baseball contract — a deal worth just over $7 million — and will now see his client jump right into the Blue Jays’ 60-man player pool to join the club in Toronto as they train for a shortened 2020 season.
Looking at the Blue Jays’ young core right now, Boras likes what he sees.
“Mark [Shapiro] and Ross [Atkins] have done a really good job of building a foundational core where they literally have a middle of the lineup that includes players who can play the infield. When you see that in a club, where you’re going to get middle-lineup potential with players who can really fulfill infield spots, that is something that most clubs in baseball don’t have. It also opens the door for you to get slugging players, corner-outfielders, that are often more available in free agency than infielders.”
Boras, who has been critical of the Blue Jays’ dealings in recent years, said their current situation with a young roster now opens the door for management to hunt for free agent pitching and spend money on some bigger, win-now free agents because of the steady, affordable foundation built through drafting and development.
“I would say right now the Blue Jays are really in an excellent position going forward here for the next five, six years,” he said.