Baseball America has released the latest minor league signings with the Phillies picking up a pair of players you haven't read about: Double-A first baseman Gabriel Martinez and former Harvard star Zak Farkes.Martinez, 26, spent last season with Chattanooga (Dodgers), where he hit .296/.372/.458 with nine home runs. For a time during the early part of the decade, Martinez, who bats from the left side, showed some real promise as a young amateur signing by the Rays, but started spinning his tires once he hit Double-A. In nine seasons, he's a .284/.353/.434 hitter, never making it past Double-A. Some of his best accomplishments have come internationally, playing a vital role for Puerto Rico in the '08 Americas Cup. He spent this past winter with Ponce of the PWL, hitting .232 in 82 at bats. Look for Martinez to fill an infield/outfield corner role in Reading this season.
Zak Farkes, who had a brilliant collegiate career at Harvard and grew up a Red Sox fan, was released by the Sox in June after posting a .226/.270/.387 at Class-A Salem. Here's a scouting report on the 26-year-old Bostonian, courtesy of SoxProspects.com: "Good, smart athlete. Originally played second, third, and first base in the organization, but was converted to a catcher in 2006. The conversion wasn't great, and Farkes now spends time at each of those positions. Below average speed, some power. Aggressive hitter. A lifelong Red Sox fan. Farkes is the type of player that could stick around the organization for a while because of his versatility, his intelligence, his strong clubhouse presence."
Baseball America also noted the signings of Oscar Villarreal and John Purdom, who were reported on previously. Meanwhile, a pair of former IronPigs infielders, Angel Chavez and J.J. Furmaniak, have linked up with the Tampa Bay chain.