Cubs Prospects A-Z—Trey Martin, Mark Malave

Trey Martin returns to field in 2014.

Nothersiders Report continues it series on Cubs prospects as we profile a pair acquired in 2011—outfielder Trey Martin, a 13th round draft pick, and catcher Mark Malave, the Cubs top July 2 signee.

While some of the Cubs top prospects have been grabbing the headlines the past year, the organization continues to stockpile young talent at the lower levels. Martin missed most of 2013 with a shoulder injury while Malave, who recently turned 19, has started slow after signing as a free agent..

Trey Martin, OF
Age 21 (12/11/1992)
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 190

2013 Team: Kane County Cougars, Midwest League (A)

Northsiders Report 2014 Ranking—Not rated

How acquired—Drafted in the 13th round in 2011, #399 overall

Prior to Cubs
Martin helped lead Brockwood High School to the Georgia State Championship as a freshman and was a four-year starter. He was a 2011 Perfect Game Southeast Region honorable mention player and was headed to Kennesaw State but signed for a reported $250,000 with the Cubs.

Cubs Career
After signing in late July, Martin made his pro debut for Mesa in the Arizona Rookie League, hitting .243/.289/.357 in 18 games. After hitting .448 in the first seven games for Mesa in 2012, Martin was promoted to Boise and caught the attention of scouts and Prospect watchers. The smooth fielding outfielder hit .270/.318/.377 with 3 HR and 23 RBI, helping lead Boise to a second half playoff berth and a trip to NWL finals. He was hit in the face by a pitch in fall instructs and broke his cheekbone but was ready to go in spring training.

2013 Season
Appearing on some pre-season Cubs top prospect lists, Martin's season got off to a slow start but ended quickly after it was discovered he had a torn labrum. The Georgia native had surgery to repair the problem and missed the 2013 season. In 11 games with Kane County, Martin hit .200/.286/.257 as he tried to play through the injury.

2014 Outlook
The injury wiped out the 2013 season but Martin is still young and hungry enough to not let it set him back. I wouldn't be surprised if a more mature and determined Martin took the MWL by storm and forced his way into a promotion to Daytona. Also look for a spike in homers as he's been improving his strength to add more power to his game. He's already a plus defender with an accurate arm and the speed to play center.

Mark Malave, OF/C/IF
Age 19 (1/5/95)
Bats: Both
Throws: Right
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 190

2013 Team: Mesa Cubs, Arizona Rookie League, (R)

Northsiders Report 2014 Ranking—Not rated

How acquired—Signed as a free agent on July 2, 2011

Cubs Career
Malave received a reported $1.6 million bonus out of Venezuela as the Cubs top July 2 signee. He made his pro debut in 2012 in the Dominican Summer League playing for Cubs 2. Malave, who was touted for his bat, struggled at the plate hitting .229/.328/.278 with 49 K and 32 BB in 227 at-bats. While he signed as a catcher, Malave spent most of the season at third base, with a .962 fielding percentage.

2013 Season
Malave showed improvement at the plate, an encouraging sign for the 19-year-old. In 38 games in the Arizona Rookie League, Malave hit .270/.381/.339 and upped his walk rate. He played all four infield positions, with double-digits starts at first, second and third. He was listed on the Cubs fall instructional league roster as a catcher and spent four games behind the plate, more than he played in two years after turing pro.

2014 Outlook
It looks like the Cubs are converting Malave back to his original position if fall instructs are any indication. Having the youngster play all the infield positions is a good way to increase his baseball IQ if he plans on leading the team behind the plate. Some scouts question his ability to hit at the professional level but Malave showed improvement after struggling in the DSL. Will be an interesting prospect to keep an eye on in 2014 as he could jump onto the scene as one of the top catching prospects at the lower levels, especially if he begins to show a power surge.

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