Russell Martin, Catcher, Toronto Blue Jays, #55
Date of Birth: 2/15/1983
Birthplace: East York, Canada
Current Salary: $20,000,000
Russell Martin, starting catcher for the Toronto Blue Jays, was first drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2002. After several years in the minors, Martin was called up to the major leagues in May, 2006. In 121 games for the Dodgers that season, Martin batted .282, with 117 hits, 26 doubles, and 10 home runs. He made just six errors in 117 games in his rookie year.
The 2007 season was Martin's best and he was rewarded that year with both a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger award. His numbers that year included 158 hits, 32 doubles, 19 home runs, and 21 stolen bases.
Martin became a free agent in 2011 and he signed a one-year contract with the New York Yankees. A year later, he agreed to a second year with the Bronx bombers. Although he never topped his 2007 season, Martin played very well with the Yankees, hitting his career high of 21 home runs in 2012.
In November, 2012, Martin signed a two-year, $17 million contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 127 games in 2013, he batted .226 with 99 hits, 21 doubles, and 15 home runs. He finished the 2014 season with 110 hits, 20 doubles, 67 RBIs, and a .290 batting average in 111 games.
On November 17, 2014, Martin signed a five-year, $82 million contract with the Blue Jays. He finished the 2015 season with 106 hits, 23 doubles, a career high 23 home runs, 77 RBIs, and a .240 batting average in 129 games. As a catcher, he made 70 assists, 799 putouts, and 4 errors in 117 games. He caught players trying to steal 44.4% of the time and he had a .995 fielding percentage. In the postseason, he had 4 hits, including 2 doubles, and 1 RBI in 26 at-bats in 8 games.
In the 2016 regular season, Martin batted .231 with 105 hits, 16 doubles, 20 home runs, and 74 RBIs in 137 games. Defensively, as the Blue Jays' catcher, he made 55 assists, 989 putouts, and 4 errors in 127 games. He caught players trying to steal 15.3% of the time and he had a .996 fielding percentage. He had a poor postseason, batting just .091 with 3 hits, including a home run, and 1 RBI in 33 at-bats in 9 games.
Career batting statistics for Martin through 2016 include:
- 1,429 games played
- 1,246 hits
- 230 doubles
- 162 home runs
- 691 RBIs
- 986 strikeouts to 656 walks
- .254 batting average
Career fielding statistics for Martin as a catcher through 2016 include:
- 1,365 games played
- 833 assists
- 9,863 putouts
- 79 errors
- .319 caught stealing percentage
- .993 fielding percentage
Martin has partnered with the One Drop Foundation, an organization that works to provide safe water to communities around the world. He has agreed to donate $600,000 over a ten-year period. More information about Martin and the One Drop Foundation can be found at russellmartin55.com.