College Baseball Daily continues our countdown to the start of the 2011 College Baseball season by checking in on the Top 100 Players in the country. We will be providing one player per day until we reach number 1.
We continue the countdown today at number 29 with Kansas State junior CF Nick Martini. The Crystal Lake, Illinois, native attended Prarie Ridge High School where he was a three year letter winner and three time Illinois All-State selection. While in high school, he was a career .474 hitter, with 55 doubles, 6 triples, 14 HR and 101 RBI. As a senior, he was rated the top hitter in Illinois by Prep Baseball Report, and led his team to the 2008 Illinois State title. Martini was not drafted out of high school.
Martini had a great Freshman year with the Wildcats, batting .336 with 4 HR and 50 RBI, while stealing 19 bases, earning him a spot on the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Team. He was also Honorable Mention All-Big 12, appearing in all 62 games, and set Kansas State freshman records for runs scored and hits. He was named to the All-Houston Regional team, where he had 2 3-hit games and led the Wildcats to the final, where they lost to Rice. Martini also led the Wildcats to two wins at #2 Texas with consecutive 3-hit performances. He spent the summer of 2009 in the M.I.N.K. league, where he was named the #3 prospect by Baseball America.
A strong Freshman campaign led Martini to be named Preseason First Team All-Big 12 from Baseball America. Martini improved his efficiency dramatically in the 2010 season, increasing his batting average from .336 to .416, which led the Big 12, and his OPS from .899 to 1.094. Much of that was a result of his plate discipline, as he was able to cut his strikeouts in half from 41 to 21 and upped his walks from 27 to 41. Along with all this, he hit 4 HR and 59 RBI as the Wildcats everyday center fielder. He set the Kansas State record with a 26-game hitting streak from February 27th to April 11th, and was named the 2010 Big 12 Player of the Year, as well as a 2nd team All-American by the ABCA. Kansas State ended their season losing to Washington State at the Fayetteville Regional, where Martini went 5-8 with a double, home run, and 6 RBi in the final two contests. Martini kept his momentum going by playing for the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod League, where he hit .257 with 2 home runs and 21 RBI while stealing 10 bases in 140 at bats, and was named a Third team Preseason All-American by the NCBWA for 2011.