After starring for three years with the Holtville baseball team, Hunter Martin did not see the offers from college programs start rolling in like he was hoping for. However, he never got discouraged and is continuing to pursue his dream of playing at the next level.
The Alabama Baseball Coaches Association is hoping to help make that happen as Martin was one of just over 100 players to participate in the annual Unsigned Senior Showcase last week in Montgomery.
“It felt good,” Martin said. “The way the season ended really just kind of sucked. I was talking to a lot of guys there and no one really knew if we’d ever have the opportunity to prove ourselves again. Well we got that opportunity (last) Monday so it meant a lot. It gives you an extra breath in a sense.”
Martin participated in several drills throughout the day, both in the field and at the plate, and even got to see some live pitching at the end of the day. Due to spending a lot of his summer on the field with his travel ball team the Montgomery Metro, Martin was prepared to step right back on to the field and he said he believes that helped him out at the showcase.
“I felt like I did really good,” Martin said. “I thought I swung the bat well and my defense was good too. I think I showed everything I had. It’s a waiting game now. I had a great day so I hope they saw that and want to add me.”
There were at least 10 coaches from community colleges in attendance and Martin said he got some response from them after the event. The players at the showcase may have been competing for the attention of the same coaches with limited roster spots on the line but Martin said it did not end up feeling like a recruiting competition.
“When I got there, I was thinking that way,” Martin said. “It felt like a situation where I had to be the best out there but as the day progressed, I realize we all wanted to show what we had and we were all in it together. We all had the same goal. We wanted to pick each other up.”
Martin said the entire showcase was going to be worth it even if he wasn’t one of the players to get signed from the day. He also got to live out a dream of playing at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery which helped make the day even more memorable.
“It was just a fun day at the park,” Martin said. “As a kid, I grew up watching Biscuits baseball and I dreamed of playing on Riverwalk. That’s what made my day. I always wanted to play on that field.”
Even though the goal is to get an offer from one of those college coaches in attendance last week, Martin said his career is probably not going to be over just because an athletic scholarship is not on the table. He said coaches have contacted him about a preferred walk-on spot being available with a chance to earn the scholarship down the road and Martin is up for the challenge.
“It’s already been discussed,” Martin said. “At this point, I just want to play ball. If I don’t get the offer, I’ll sit down with my family and figure out the best school to walk on at and that’s where I’ll end up.”