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Martinez, still a top Mets prospect, hits two home runs

New York Mets' Fernando Martinez hits a solo

New York Mets' Fernando Martinez hits a solo home run against the Washington Nationals during the third inning of a spring training baseball. (March 6, 2010) Credit: AP

VIERA, Fla. - The Mets hit three home runs in yesterday's 14-6 win over the Nationals, and it was hardly a shock to see one from Mike Jacobs, who is trying to muscle his way into a bench job as a long-ball threat.

It was more surprising that prospect Fernando Martinez, who had slipped below the radar, hit the other two homers.

Martinez, 21, recently had been leapfrogged by camp phenoms Jenrry Mejia and Ike Davis in most-favored-prospect status. Jerry Manuel has publicly lobbied for Mejia to be included on his Opening Day roster and Davis owns the highlight of spring training with his mammoth grand slam Thursday.

But Martinez, already earmarked for Triple-A Buffalo, could make the Mets feel more comfortable about their outfield depth with an impressive month. He was named the MVP of the Caribbean Series and he seems to be riding that momentum. He went 4-for-4 with the pair of homers and three runs scored Saturday and is batting .667 (8-for-12).

"I've never not liked Fernando Martinez," Manuel said. "I think to see the display of power - especially with off- speed pitches - was impressive today. When we had him in New York, I didn't see him handle that pitch very well. And to see him take good swings at it and put it in play with that type of authority shows that he's learning."


Mets caught short?

With Jose Reyes back in New York for more thyroid tests , the Mets plan to use a rotation of 20-year-old prospect Ruben Tejada and veteran backup Alex Cora as Reyes' replacements.

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