Rickards' Martin earns showcase bid

Rickards' Martin earns showcase bid

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Rickards' Martin earns showcase bid

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When Dexter Martin was summoned by his father for an introduction following a recent baseball game, he simply figured the person was a family friend.

Martin assumed the man wanted to encourage him to chase his baseball dreams.

He was partially correct.

Chip Lawrence, a scout with the San Diego Padres, offered Martin an invitation to compete in the ninth annual Mentoring Viable Prospects Exposure Tournament that starts today in Decatur, Ga.

Martin, 16, a rising junior at Rickards High School, will play on the Padres’ Florida Scout Team. The four-day tournament also features teams from Atlanta, Chicago (two teams), Virginia and Texas.

“I am looking at this as a great opportunity, one that I think will be a great experience,” Martin said. “It’s going to be fun meeting players from all over the United States.”

Martin, a 6-foot-4, 220-pounder, played varsity basketball and junior varsity/varsity baseball last year at North Florida Christian. He continues to focus on both sports this summer in preparation for his move to Rickards.

Martin has certainly learned firsthand the importance of time management, playing baseball on the Titus Sports Academy 16U team and basketball for the Tallahassee Warhawks. Both teams have participated in tournaments around the state.

“I really love both sports” said Martin, a first baseman/outfielder in baseball and forward in basketball. “I will practice one in the morning, then it’s off to the second sport in the afternoon.”

Martin wants to be more consistent in baseball, specifically at the plate. He’s also excited to compete against his peers from around the nation over the next four days.

Players are also scheduled to attend Friday’s New York Mets-Atlanta Braves game at Turner Field and will be recognized at the tournament’s banquet on Saturday.

“I fully expect that Dexter is going to have a breakout season with us this year,” Rickards baseball coach Brian Kelley said. “I think his biggest challenge will be choosing which sport to play because he has all the tools to be drafted out of high school for baseball.”

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