Prep Baseball Report

STORY: 2019 OF/RHP Quinton Martin

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Texas Writer

SWEENY, TX - Marlene Rivas will not have far to go to watch her son play college baseball. A commitment to Rice by Quinton Martin left Rivas a happy woman.

“My mom works at the hospital across the street from Rice,” explained Martin. “It’s 45 minutes from home, so she’s extremely happy I went to Rice. She goes to almost all my games and with the education I’ll get there, it’s just a great situation all the way around.”

Interest in Martin picked up this past summer prior to junior year at Sweeny High School.

“I really hadn’t done much and was not getting a lot of attention,” the 53rd-ranked player in the state’s 2019 class explained. “I couldn’t figure out why. But after talking to my mom, I looked into some camps and PBR showcases.”

A showcase with his summer team the South Texas Sliders was rained out, but soon after things picked up.

“I went to a PBR at UH (Top Prospect Games at Houston), that was really the first one I ever did,” Martin said in reference to the June 6 event. “I talked with Coach Bick (Toby Bicknell, PBR Texas Scouting Director) after I did well there and he invited me to a camp at A&M. He continued to support me and pushed other schools about me.”

Blinn pitching coach Blake Whitter was at the PBR event at A&M.

“He asked me if I had committed and he got me in contact with coach (John) Pope at Rice,” Martin said. “Coach Pope came to watch me play and we talked on the phone and he invited me to come on a visit. I was amazed at how beautiful Rice was with the baseball field and the skyline. I had been to a basketball game there but not baseball. The coaches really made me comfortable there and you can’t get a better education than Rice. That was big.”

Another factor was the opportunity to be a two-way player.

“That was extremely important,” Martin admitted. “I feel I can pitch and hit at the next level and I didn’t want to decide between the two. They said they’d give me a chance to do both.”

Interest in Martin came from more than Rice, the junior had two other offers from D1 schools in Texas.

“My mom liked Rice and it’s the best education you can get,” Martin said about making the final decision. “I’ve always liked competition and I want to compete for a chance to go to Omaha and Rice gives me the best chance to do that and get a great education. If you can get a degree there, you’re set for life.”

A commitment came about a month after the visit to Rice.

“They really like that I can hit and pitch,” noted the 5-11 190-pounder. “I have an extremely big arm, but they also like the way my bat will fit into the lineup.”

Recent improvement has made the right-handed hitting outfielder a better ballplayer.

“I’ve improved a lot batting-average wise,” Martin pointed out. “In the past I’ve hit some monster home runs but had not had a high average, so I’ve been focusing on improving that part of my game. I opened up the other side of the field and have been able to take it up the middle. I used to pull the ball all the time, so spreading the field has really helped me out.”

Making strides on the mound has also benefited Martin’s game.

“My control this year has been so much better,” the right-handed hurler noted. “I have command of my fastball and my breaking ball I can throw in any count. I have full confidence in both pitches.”

However, the idea of bettering his game is far from over.

“I want to continue to work on getting on base more and getting hits,” Martin said. “If you can hit you won’t sit, that’s the saying. On the mound it’s about throwing strikes and letting the defense help me out.”

Martin pointed to Brian Benavides and Shannon Permenter, fathers of two of his best friends (Jackson Permenter and Blake Benavides), as others that have been influences in helping him get where he is in the sport.

“They helped coach me on the side,” Martin said. “They throw to me in the cages and they helped with sending out videos.”

It has Martin ready to make an impact at Rice.

“They don’t recruit a lot per class, just 11 compared to other schools,” Martin said of Rice. “They look for you to make an instant impact as a freshman. They want someone with the capabilities to come in and help out the team as a freshman.”

The commitment brings an end to the recruiting process for Martin.

“I’m very blessed the way it went,” Martin said. “My mom helped me a lot with this and I couldn’t have done it without her. It couldn’t have ended any better than at a school like Rice.”


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