Gwinnett Braves starter Cody Martin is not fond of giving up home runs, and he's looking to correct that.
Fresh off a solid outing against Durham on July 5 when the former Dos Palos High star pitched six innings and had a season-high nine strikeouts in a 5-2 victory, Martin surrendered six runs on eight hits, including a home run, in five innings of a no-decision against Norfolk on July 11.
Martin said he's not discouraged and is optimistic things will turn around for him in the second half of the season.
"I've been bit by the home runs," said Martin, who's given up nine this season. "I need to work on getting more groundballs. I pitch up in the zone with my fastball and trying to elevate, and I've been bit by that by the home runs."
Martin was originally drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 20th round (615th overall) of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft, but did not sign and returned to Gonzaga for his senior season in 2011.
In his senior year, Martin, then a relief pitcher, was a Baseball America first-team All-American after going 2-1 with 12 saves and a 0.86 ERA, which ranked tops in the nation among qualifying pitchers.
Martin was later drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the seventh round, 236th overall, of the 2011 draft.
Martin made his professional debut that season with the Danville Braves of the rookie-level Appalachian League before making stops with the Rome Braves of the Class-A South Atlantic League and Lynchburg Hillcats of the Class-A Advanced Carolina League.
Last season, Martin joined Double-A Mississippi and went 3-3 with a 2.82 ERA before getting promoted to Gwinnett at midseason.
"They pulled me in office and told me I'm going make a start in Triple A," he recalled. "They also said that I would come back three days later, but I made my start and never came back. It was awesome."
In his debut with Gwinnett, he pitched seven innings and struck out seven in a 2-0 victory over Buffalo.
This season, Martin is 6-6 with a 3.52 ERA in 1071/3 innings and has 93 strikeouts. Since May 25, Martin has gone at least 6-plus innings seven times.
"I'm really refining what I want to do in my approach to pitching," Martin said. "I think last year was more like throwing the ball and looking for a result. I kind of know what I want to do and how go about with the whole game plan. I think I really refined that this year. I'm not trying to strike out guys, mainly because I'm trying to go more innings."
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