The Milwaukee Brewers officially have invited their first non-roster invitee to big league camp as they re-signed international prospect Ernesto Martinez. Ernesto Martinez, who will be 25 years old next summer and is listed as a 6-5 250 lb first baseman, became a minor league free agent at seasons end but now will get an opportunity to play against Major League talent during spring training.
Francys Romero was the first to report the news of Ernesto Martinez re-signing with the Brewers. He shared a picture of him signing a contract on social media and also included a blurb about Milwaukee viewing him with the potential to reach MLB due to his power, speed, and discipline at home plate that generates a high on base percentage.
Source: Cuban 1B/OF Ernesto Martínez (24) re-signs with the Milwaukee Brewers for 2024 season. He will be in the MLB Spring Training camp as a non roster invitee.
Martínez became a free agent at the end of the 2023 season but the Brewers see him with the potential to reach MLB.… pic.twitter.com/kIxTnMbJcW
— Francys Romero (@francysromeroFR) November 7, 2023
Could Ernesto Martinez make it to the big leagues in 2024 with the Milwaukee Brewers?
Taking a look at the Brewers current big league roster there is the potential that they will be in need of a new first baseman come opening day next spring. Carlos Santana is a free agent, Rowdy Tellez is a non-tender candidate, and outside of prospect Tyler Black, who just started playing the position late last year, there are no other significant internal candidate to fill the potential vacancy. This could open the door for the left-handed swinging Ernesto Martinez.
As mentioned by Francys Romero, Ernesto Martinez is an on-base machine. Across 337 career minor league games, with the highest level of playing coming at Double-A, he has a career .362 OBP. Injuries have slowed him down at times, but a season ago he hit a career best 12 home runs in 98 games played while also swiping 16 bases. It is worth mentioning that in 2021 he stole 30 bases, so despite his large physical appearances his speed threat is real.
In the past surprise non-roster invitees have emerged for the Brewers at first base. Jesus Aguilar was a standout during spring training in 2017 and was an All-Star a season later. Ernesto Martinez is one dark horse candidate to pay attention to, so hopefully he makes the most of his opportunities next March.
**Editors note** Following this post both Adam McCalvy and Mike Vassallo reported that Ernesto Martinez has not been named as a non-roster invitee to the Brewers big league camp.