Texas State shortstop Jason Martinson was selected by the Washington Nationals in the fifth round of the Major League Baseball first-year player draft. Texas State sports information photo.
Texas State shortstop Jason Martinson became only the third Bobcat player ever taken in the first five rounds of the Major League Baseball (MLB) first-year player draft, going to the Washington Nationals in the fifth round as the 146th pick overall this week.
Martinson is the first Texas State position player ever to be taken that high. A native of Hurst, Martinson finished his junior season in 2010 hitting .321 with 75 hits (19 doubles, three triples, four home runs) and 44 runs scored. Martinson’s 19 doubles is the fourth-best single-season record for Texas State, and his three-year career total of 33 doubles is seventh all-time at Texas State.
The shortstop was a preseason All-Southland Conference second team selection and landed on the All-Conference third team at the close of the season.
The highest pick ever out of Texas State was pitcher Blake Williams, who went to the St. Louis Cardinals as the 24th overall selection in 2000. A 6-foot-5 right hander, Williams was off to a promising start to his pro career, fashioning a 2.23 ERA in his first 25 starts, all at the Class A level in the Cardinals chain. However, arm ailments began to sidetrack Williams in 2002, and he ended up trying to catch on through the independent leagues for his last three seasons before hanging them up at age 27 after the 2006 season. Williams now instructs high school players in the Central Texas area.
In 1997, the San Franciso Giants selected Texas State right hander Scott Linebrink in the second round as the 56th pick overall. When Linebrink reached the Class AAA level in 2000, the Giants moved him to the bullpen and briefly brought him up to the major league club before trading him to the Houston Astros for veteran right hander Doug Henry in July of that year.
Linebrink made 48 appearances for the Astros, all but six in relief, before waiving him to the San Diego Padres during the 2003 season. In San Diego, Linebrink established himself as a reliable set-up reliever for Trevor Hoffman, going 27-12 with a 2.73 ERA in 306 relief appearances during five seasons. The Padres dealt Linebrink to the Milwaukee Brewers in July 2007 for three players. Only one of them, left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher, has made it to the big leagues. Thatcher rose quickly to the big league club and still works for the Padres as a left-handed relief specialist.
Linebrink played out the 2007 season with the Brewers before signing with the Chicago White Sox as a free agent. Linebrink is 1-0 with a 5.55 ERA in 20 relief appearances (24 1/3 innings) this season for the White Sox.