Gator baseball's Brad Weitzel talks drafting J.D. Martinez out of high school


J.D. Martinez was picked in the 20th round of the 2009 June Amateur Draft by the Houston Astros, but was originally drafted in 2006 in the 36th round by the Minnesota Twins.

The man who drafted him was Florida baseball's assistant coach Brad Weitzel, who served as Minnesota's Florida area scout from 1991 to 2007.

Weitzel still remembers his scouting report on the right-handed slugger from when he was attending Flanagan High School in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

“I saw a big kid, probably 6’4”, but he weighed 165. He hadn’t filled out yet," said Weitzel. "He had power to right-center field at Flanagan High School. He worked really hard and respected the game, and we took a chance on him and drafted him late in the draft.

“The work ethic and I’m gonna get better (mentality). Just the total assault of I’m gonna be a guy one day and not giving up. It’s a great story.”

Martinez is a great student of the game, and keeps a notebook of almost all his at-bats.

“Kinda realized I had to make a change, and I really kinda just dedicated myself and dove into the whole, 'Why are other players so good and why can’t I be that good' type of deal," said Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez. "The lights came on for me. I started noticing things I didn’t notice before. Started making adjustments, tweaks and then one thing led to the next. I kinda was on to something. I felt like I was on to something. I wrote it out and now here I am today.”

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