TAMPA, FLA. – To be a setup reliever is to be a table setter.
Cody Martin plays that role on and off the field for the University of Tampa Spartans.
The son of Renie Martin, former Kansas City Royal and San Francisco Giant, is working to better himself in order to carry those around him.
The recipient of the Dean’s Scholarship talked about managing athletics with academics.
“You know where to allocate your time and effort,” said Martin. “Baseball is very important to me as is my school work.”
The strikeout machine also volunteers for the Metropolitan Ministries and the Boys and Girls Club. With limited time, he’s become a great role model for his community.
“That’s something they preach to us,” said Martin. “I think it’s really important for guys like us — little kids look up to college athletes.”
With little time to relax, everything the 6-foot-2 pitcher does is with a focus on improvement. This mentality is clearly seen through his increased fastball velocity, but this has made his strikeout slider less effective.
“I think he’s overthrowing a little bit to hit 94,” said Spartans head coach Joe Urso. “We’re trying to get him to pitch 90-92 to get that slider back because it’s dominant out of the bullpen.”
Even though there’s more room to grow, the reliever has struck out 11 batters in 8.1 innings this season.
Martin is also aware of what he needs to reach the next level of his development.
“Being consistent is my biggest thing,” said Martin. “Making adjustments, having a clear mind while you’re out there, and trusting all the work you put in is a big thing.”
Even with many things on his plate and a possible MLB future to think about as scouts watch him pitch, the junior is focused on helping his team win another championship. Playing true to his position, this reliever is setting up himself and others for success.
“Ultimately, I just try to get better everyday, be a better person, and make the people around me better,” said Martin. “That’s who I strive to be.”