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Baseball Staff

Willi Martin

Director of Player Development

Willi Martin, Director Player Development, joins the 2021 USPBL staff with three years of professional playing experience and three years of professional coaching/scouting experience, most recently with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2020.

Prior to Martin’s professional career, Martin accepted a baseball scholarship to Liberty University as a pitcher. While at Liberty, Martin recorded starts against Top-25 ranked East Carolina University and the University of Virginia. Prior to his senior season, Martin transferred to Southeastern University to pursue a career as a positional player. Martin saw great success at the plate his senior year recording 39 extra-base hits including 16 home runs. Martin played first
base and hit .366 his senior season in the process of becoming an NAIA All-American.

Following the 2015 collegiate baseball season, Martin signed a professional contract with the Schaumburg Boomers (Schaumburg, IL) of the Frontier League. Martin led Schaumburg in batting average during the 2015 season, batting .322. Prior to the 2016 season, Martin signed with the River City Rascals (O’Fallon, IL) of the Frontier League where he led the team in batting average (.296) before being traded to the Southern Illinois Miners (Marion, IL) of the
Frontier League. Martin played the remainder of the 2016 season with Southern Illinois, helping the Miners clinch a division championship and the best overall record in the Frontier League. Martin began the 2017 season with Southern Illinois before signing with the Utica Unicorns (Utica, MI) of the United Shore Professional Baseball League. Martin hit .302 for Utica in 2017 while transitioning into a coaching role that would begin in 2018.

In 2018, Martin began his professional coaching career under the mentorship of Jim Essian, Manager of the Utica Unicorns. As the Assistant Manager to former Major League Player and Manager, Jim Essian, Martin was fully responsible for player development and assisted with game management and player procurement. The Utica Unicorns had a USPBL-best 4 players sign contracts with Major League Baseball organizations in 2018.

Martin returned to the USPBL for the 2019 season as the Assistant Manager of the Utica Unicorns with more responsibilities, including as Field Manager for many of the team’s games. The Utica Unicorns won the 2019 USPBL Championship and had a league-best 6 players signed to contracts with Major league Baseball organizations.

Following the 2019 season, Martin completed a Master’s Degree in Sport Management at Liberty University earning a 4.0 GPA. In 2020, Martin signed with the St. Louis Cardinals as a Minor League Assistant Coach/Professional Scout where he was assigned to the Cardinals’ Double-A affiliate, Springfield Cardinals.

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