Q&A with SIU-Carbondale Commit OF Evan Martin (Parkway South, 2018)

Shon Plack
Missouri Scouting Director

Evan Martin (Parkway South, 2018) recently committed to Southern Illinois-Carbondale. He attended the Metro East and the Underclass Games this summer.

Martin is a 5-foot-11 150-pound left-handed hitting outfielder and left-handed pitcher in Missouri’s 2018 class.  He runs a 7.03 60 and a 4.35 home-to-first.  He has a 80 mph exit velo.

At the plate, swing produced line drives up the middle, solid consistent contact during batting practice. Martin has an athletic stance with minimal load and no wasted movement.  He has loose hands with feel for the barrel.  During the Underclass Games, he singled to centerfield and lined out to shortstop. 

In the outfield, Martin as an 84 mph positional velo with a high three-quarters arm slot. He has a short and quick release and makes mostly accurate throws.

On the mound, Martin has a loose arm action with an over the top release.  He has a lean and projectable frame wit a fastball at 72-77 mph.  He throws on a downhill plane, and breaking ball has 12-to-6 action, sometimes sharp, at 62-64 mph.  He tallied three strikeouts and three walks in outing at the Underclass Games.

Here is a look inside the recruitment of Evan Martin.

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it as expected? Easy/Difficult?

Martin: I expected the recruiting process to be very long and stressful. The process wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t nearly as hard as I expected it to be.

PBR: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?

Martin: At the beginning of the process I really didn’t think it did, but as it went on I realized that I wanted to be close enough to where my family could come see me play as often as they would like. Carbondale was a great fit being that it’s not too close, but not too far.

PBR: Where did SIU-Carbondale first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?

Martin: I actually decided very last minute to attend the PBR Metro East showcase at Blazier Field in O’Fallon, IL, and Coach Finigan happened to be in attendance. After that the coaching staff contacted my summer coach, Nick Gibson, and on September 1st both Coach Finigan and Coach Henderson reached out to set up a visit. After my visit there I knew it was the right place for me. The vision that Coach Henderson has for the program is second to none, and the Saluki Family was something I knew wanted to become a part of.

PBR: Who is the best player you have faced in your state, and why?

Martin: This is a tie to two guys: Dexter Swims and Tommy Woods of McCluer North. Both are unbelievable ballplayers and high character guys that have helped transform that program since stepping up as Freshmen on varsity.

PBR: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?

Martin: I would say bust your tail on and off of the field. Run hard out down the line no matter what, to your position, and just play the game the right way. I was given more opportunities because of the small things like playing the game hard. It sounds super cliche and dumb, but I believe that hard work pays off. This means getting into the weightroom, and practicing your craft as much as possible. The day you learn how to work hard is the day you will become the best baseball player you can be. Be proactive, shoot for the stars, but don’t limit yourself to only wanting to play at the Division 1 level like everyone else does. There is great baseball played at every level. Focus on finding a school that you believe you fit at. Get yourself physically in front of schools that you want to pursue at camps, showcases, etc. The biggest thing is just to be yourself in the process, don’t be fake just to impress a coach because in 3-4 years the real you will come out at some point.

PBR: What do you do in the offseason to keep yourself in baseball shape and prepare for the upcoming season?

Martin: In the offseason I lift three days a week, speed and agility three times a week, and hit at least 5 days a week. Now that it is beginning to get cold outside I train with Mike Killian’s Elite Velocity program twice a week for building arm strength. I am also currently on a nutrition plan.

PBR: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?

Martin: Committing to SIU. Playing baseball at the collegiate level was something I have worked towards my entire life, and to be able to say I will be is a great feeling.

PBR: What do you like most about SIU-Carbondale and what were the key factors in making your decision?

Martin: The coaching staff definitely played the largest role in my decision. Besides being great people, the staff really has a vision for the program and targets a specific type of guys they want to bring into the program to build the Saluki family.  They have the strongest emphasis on academics of any of the schools I visited which is very important to me. I loved the atmosphere of the campus not being too big, but not too small either. SIU is my mom’s alma mater which made it feel like home as well.

PBR: What other schools were on your short list before you made your final decision?

Martin: Some other schools came into consideration at the very end, but I narrowed it down to a top three. The other two on that list were Ohio State, and Illinois State.

PBR: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Was there a particular game or event that you feel turned the corner for you?

Martin: The recruiting process for me started long before I was recruited. December of Freshman year I played in a tournament in Florida with Crabfest Baseball from Maryland. For one of the first times in my life I failed at baseball. I had the mental makeup at that point, but the physical tools just weren’t there. I struck out every at bat but one and grounded out in that other at bat. After that I realized I wasn't working as hard as I thought I was, and I changed everything. It was a long process, but I saw results early. 15u summer I received my first Division 1 interest. This made me realize that I had a chance to play at the next level. This past spring/summer things really heated up. My summer and high school coaches coordinated a lot of schools to come out and evaluate me throughout the spring and summer.

PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals?

Martin: Coach Stahl and Coach Hunt put out a group of high character and hard working guys to represent Parkway South every year. I have no doubt we are going to be a great team. We have a strong returning varsity senior class including Chase Unger, Bennett Shocklee, Ryan Masterson, Louis Candelario, and Jackson Keller. We have a ton of other talent in the program that will also be able to step up and compete. Coach Stahl teaches us to go out to the field every day as a group and control the things we can control and to get 1% better every day because that adds up in the long run. The goal is to develop into both better people and ballplayers, and hopefully win a Suburban West and state championship while doing it.

PBR: Where do you play in the summer? And what has been your most memorable experience with them?

Martin: I play for the Rawlings Xtreme for Coach Nick Gibson in the summer. My most memorable experience was this past summer as a whole. Being able to play at different universities against great competition with some of my closest friends was a lot of fun, and something I will never forget.


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