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Baseball: Jeremy Martinez is helping fuel a revived USC

April 20, 2014|By Eric Sondheimer

 Back when Jeremy Martinez committed to USC as a freshman catcher at Santa Ana Mater Dei, few expected him to end up in college. He was a top draft pick in waiting.

For whatever reason, Martinez didn't go as high as expected by his senior year. He was a 37th-round pick of the Chicago Cubs and ended up going to USC after all.

And the Trojans now have a standout for three years.

As a freshman this season, Martinez is the eighth-leading hitter in the Pac-12, with a .347 batting average. He has struck out only nine times in 124 at-bats.

He has helped lead USC to a 9-9 Pac-12 record after a sweep of Arizona this past week.

One of USC's problems in recent years has been getting high-profile high school commitments from players who never show up.

Martinez's arrival could be the start of the Trojans' turnaround.

Eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

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