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He hit .825 with an OPS, didn’t get re-signed, and was ignored by the KBO…but after returning to ML, he’s back to his old self, with a PS.

Nick Martini, 33, an outfielder who played for the NC Dinos of the KBO last year, has emerged as a major league player for the Cincinnati Reds.

Martini batted fifth in the lineup in left field in the second game of a doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs on April 2 (KST) and hit a dramatic game-winning home run in the ninth inning with the Reds trailing 1-2. He took a three-pitch low slider from Cubs reliever Albert Almora and sent it over the right field fence. It was his third home run of the season. The game-winning home run came with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning in a game that was as close as the first game of the doubleheader.

Fueled by Martinez’s single, Cincinnati rallied for a 3-2 victory after Christian Encarnacion-Strand singled, pinch-hitter Stuart Fairchild stole second and Noelby Marte came through with the winning run on an error.

With the win, Cincinnati, which improved to 70-67, kept its fall baseball hopes alive in fifth place in the National League (NL) wild card race, one game behind the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks (both 70-65).

According to, Martini said after the game, “It was a great win, especially against a good team. “It’s always tough when you’re missing guys, but a lot of guys stepped up and played well together,” Martini said after the game. Cincinnati will be without starting pitchers Hunter Green, Ben Lively and Fernando Cruz for the foreseeable future after they were diagnosed with COVID-19.

Martini, who signed a minor league deal with Cincinnati in February, was called up on March 23 after batting .345 (15-for-95) with 15 home runs, 65 RBIs and an .875 OPS in 93 games for the Triple-A Louisville Bats this year. In his first major league action in two years, he is batting 2-for-7 (8-for-29) with three home runs, seven RBIs, three doubles, five walks, a .364 on-base percentage, a .621 slugging percentage and a .985 OPS in 11 games.

He went 4-for-4 with his first multi-homer game of the season against the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 26, then followed that up with a 4-for-3 day at Arizona the next day. He also batted in the middle of the order, 4-6. With the bats missing, Martinez has been a big boost, keeping Cincinnati’s hopes of reaching the postseason for the first time in three years alive.온라인바카

Martini, a left-handed hitting outfielder who made his major league debut with the Oakland Athletics in 2018, came to Korea last year after spending time with the San Diego Padres and Chicago Cubs. After signing with NC for a total of $800,000, he put up solid numbers in 139 games, batting .296 (151-for-510) with 16 home runs, 85 RBI, 12 doubles, 51 walks and 86 strikeouts for a .365 on-base percentage, .461 slugging percentage and .826 OPS.

He played a full, injury-free season and showed promise as a mid-to-long range hitter, but was not re-signed after the season. As a foreign hitter, his power was somewhat diminished, and his defense was disappointing with 12 errors, as he often played first base, an unfamiliar position for NC. NC lifted the hold on his contract, but other teams in the KBO turned their backs on him, and he left Korea after a year.

Back in the U.S., Martini signed a minor league contract with Cincinnati, and he’s made the most of his opportunity in the majors at the end of the season. He may be able to play fall baseball in the majors, something he was unable to do in Korea, where NC finished sixth last year.

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