UTICA, Mich. - Recent Newberry College graduate D.J. Martinez has signed a contract to play for the United Shore Professional Baseball League's Bloomfield-Birmingham Beavers, as announced by USPBL officials today.
Martinez played two years of baseball for the Wolves in 2014 and 2015 and served as a student assistant coach for the 2016 season. The Montpelier, Va., native hit .305 as a senior with 50 hits, 13 doubles, two triples, 34 runs scored and 22 RBIs to go with a .954 fielding percentage and 15 stolen bases. Martinez hit .276 as a junior.
The USPBL is a first-year independent professional league in the Detroit area with three teams playing at the brand-new Jimmy John's Field.
Martinez is the third Newberry player playing minor league baseball this summer and the second on an independent team. 2015 MLB Draft pick Albert Baur is still in the Pittsburgh Pirates' farm system, while Casio Grider is on the opening day roster for the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the independent American Association to start his eighth season of professional baseball. Grider hit a three-run homerun on opening night for the Goldeyes.