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Rafael Martín Romero (born May 16, 1984) is a Mexican-American professional baseball pitcher for the Saraperos de Saltillo of the Mexican Baseball League. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Washington Nationals.

Rafael Martín
Saraperos de Saltillo – No. 38
Born: (1984-05-16) May 16, 1984 (age 35)
San Fernando, California
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
April 15, 2015, for the Washington Nationals
MLB statistics
(through 2016 season)
Win–loss record2–0
Earned run average4.50


Early lifeEdit

Martin was born in California but spent parts of his childhood in Mexico until the 7th grade.[1] Martin attended Jurupa Valley High School in Jurupa Valley, California.[2] He played for the school's varsity baseball team for one year.[3] Though coaches at University of Redlands and Riverside Community College offered Martin the opportunity to walk on to their college baseball teams, they did not offer scholarships, and Martin opted not to attend college. He went to work for a contractor in Fontana, California,[2] becoming a crew foreman and dispatcher.[3]


Saraperos de SaltilloEdit

Martin attended a tryout with the Saraperos de Saltillo of the Mexican League in 2007. He made his professional baseball debut with them that year.[4]

Washington NationalsEdit

The Washington Nationals signed Martin out of the Mexican League in 2010.[2][5] In 2011, Martin pitched for the Potomac Nationals of the Class A-Advanced Carolina League and the Harrisburg Senators of the Class AA Eastern League. The Nationals assigned him to the Arizona Fall League after the regular season.[6][7] He struggled with elbow and shoulder injuries in 2012.[3] In 2014, he pitched for the Syracuse Chiefs of the Class AAA International League.[3] He had a 0.80 ERA for Syracuse, allowing a run in only two of his 38 appearances.[8]

The Nationals invited Martin to spring training in 2015.[8] They assigned him to Syracuse to start the year, but selected his contract and promoted him to the major leagues on April 14.[9] The following day, Martin made his major league debut,[10] facing the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. He started the seventh inning; after allowing a fly out and a single, he proceeded to strike out the next five consecutive batters over two innings.[11] He elected free agency on November 6, 2017.

Return to SaraperosEdit

On March 21, 2018, Martin signed with the Saraperos de Saltillo of the Mexican Baseball League.


  1. ^ Castillo, Jorge (September 24, 2016). "For American-born players with Latin heritage, identity is complicated". Washington Post. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "From Mexico to the big leagues, Rafael Martin is the most improbable story of Washington Nationals spring training". Washington Post. February 28, 2010. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d Kramer, Lindsay (July 23, 2014). "Syracuse Chiefs reliever Rafael Martin makes his pitch as late-blooming prospect". Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  4. ^ ""Este premio me motiva para Grandes Ligas": Rafa Martin - Saraperos de Saltillo News". (in Spanish). Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  5. ^ "Nats sign Mexican League hurler Martin". Washington Nationals. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  6. ^ "Byron Kerr: Reliever Rafael Martin looking to show he belongs in first big league camp". MASNsports. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  7. ^ "Nationals' Martin dares to dream again". The Washingtion Times. November 15, 2011. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  8. ^ a b Wagner, James (March 24, 2015). "Rafael Martin is turning heads with his slider". Washington Post. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Zuckerman, Mark. "Martin savors "unbelievable" MLB debut with Nats". NatsInsider. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
  11. ^ "April 15, 2015 Washington Nationals at Boston Red Sox Box Score and Play by Play". Baseball Reference. Retrieved April 16, 2015.

External linksEdit