Varsity Extra baseball: Our spring series on two Treasure Valley draft prospects

In Thursday’s Idaho Statesman, we debuted our series “Mason & Martarano,” featuring local MLB Draft prospects Mason Smith of Rocky Mountain and Joe Martarano of Fruitland. We will continue to provide updates on these two high school seniors throughout the remainder of the season.

Idaho has had several pairs of high school players drafted in the same season, but Smith and Martarano could end up being picked higher than any other Idaho pair directly out of high school in history. The most recent duo drafted from Idaho was in 2000 when Lakeland’s Bobby Jenks was chosen in the fifth round by the Angels and Jared Price of Minico went in the seventh round to the Dodgers.

In 1985, two Meridian High players went in the third (Shon Ashley) and fourth (Robert Friesen) rounds of the draft. According to Baseball America, only one Idaho athlete has been drafted in the first round out of high school. That was righty Mike Garman of Caldwell High, who was chosen by the Red Sox with the No. 3 overall pick in 1967.

Here is a look at our first installment of “Mason & Martarano” in case you missed it in Thursday’s paper:

MASON SMITH, ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH

Position: Center field

Size: 6-foot-3, 200 pounds

Bats/throws: R/R

College plans: Has committed to Utah baseball.

Draft prospects: No. 51 overall high school prospect, according to Baseball America.

Senior stats at Rocky Mountain: .510 batting, .980 slugging, .585 on-base percentage, 29 RBIs, 6 home runs, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 9 stolen bases.

Next three games: at Eagle, 6 p.m. Thursday; vs. Eagle, 6 p.m. Friday; vs. Boise, 6 p.m. April 25.

What they’re saying about Smith: “Smith has shown off his ability to drive the baseball with authority at numerous national level events, utilizing his ability to create backspin allowing balls to carry well off of his bat.” — PerfectGame.org

JOE MARTARANO, FRUITLAND HIGH

Position: Third base

Size: 6-foot-3, 230 pounds

Bats/throws: R/R

College plans: Has committed to Boise State football.

Draft prospects: No. 86 overall high school prospect, according to Baseball America.

Senior stats at Fruitland: .439 batting, 20 RBIs, 3 home runs, 7 doubles, 3 triples, 8 stolen bases.

Next three games: at Parma, 5 p.m. April 23; vs. Payette, 6 p.m. April 25; vs. Skyview, 11 a.m. April 27.

What they’re saying about Martarano: “He boasts a physically imposing build and a game that takes advantage of his plus strength in all phases with a power bat and strong arm.” — PerfectGame.org

Our Varsity Extra blog covers all things high school in the Treasure Valley. Get breaking news updates on our Varsity Extra pages on Facebook and Twitter (IDS_VarsityX).

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