Brandon Martin (minors03)
Brandon Willie Martin
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 185 lb.
- High School Santiago High School
Shortstop Brandon Martin was a supplemental first-round pick in the 2011 amateur draft and played three years in the minors.
Martin hit .354 with 33 runs as a high school senior, and Baseball America rated him as the third-best defensive high school shortstop. He had a commitment to Cal State Fullerton, then switched to Oregon State University; the decision became moot when he signed after the draft. The Tampa Bay Rays took him 38th overall in the 2011 draft; the choice was compensation for the loss of Rafael Soriano. He was the fourth of ten Tampa first-rounders, following Taylor Guerrieri, Mikie Mahtook and Jake Hager and preceding Tyler Goeddel, Jeff Ames, Blake Snell, Kes Carter, Grayson Garvin and James Harris. He was signed for a $860,000 bonus.
Martin made his pro debut for the GCL Rays on July 6, 2011, hitting leadoff against the GCL Red Sox and going 0-for-5 with a run scored. In 19 games that year, he hit .255 with 1 home run. After hitting .209 with 10 homers for the Princeton Rays in 2012, he ended his pro career with the Bowling Green Hot Rods in 2013, posting a .206 average to go along with 7 home runs.
In September 2015, Martin was arrested and charged with the murder of his father, his uncle and another man in his hometown of Corona, California. It took a while for the case to make its way through the judicial system, but on November 4, 2020, he was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder. While he was facing a possible death sentence, he was sentenced on November 19th to life in prison without possibility of parole. The case was tried before a jury in Riverside, CA. Martin had been treated for psychiatric issued shortly before his rampage, because he had issued threats against his physically-disabled father, as well as against his mother, who he had tried to choke. These were not the first violent incidents directed against his parents.
On September 17th, he walked into his father Michael Martin's home, where Michael's brother-in-law, Ricky Lee Anderson, and a technician from a security systems company, Barry Swanson, were also present. Martin grabbed a baseball bat and beat all three men in a rage; Michael Martin and Swanson died at the scene, and Anderson died a couple of days later after going into a coma. Brandon Martin left the murder weapon behind him and stole Anderson's pick-up truck to escape. He was spotted the next day by an off-duty police officer and arrested shortly afterwards after a police chase.
- Jack Baer: "Former MLB first-round pick found guilty of triple murder with baseball bat", Yahoo Sports, November 9, 2020.