For Immediate Release
December 7, 1999

Louisville – Pedro Martinez, perhaps baseball’s most dominating right handed pitcher in 50 years was traded by the Kentucky Head Hunters early Tuesday for a group promising young players from the Severn Express organization.  The actual deal is structured to send PJ Martinez and Kentucky’s 4th and 5th round picks in 2000 to Severn in return for Adrian Beltre, Ben Petrick, Nick Johnson, Steve Woodard, and Severn’s 1st and 3rd round picks. Certainly a blockbuster deal in anyone’s book.  Severn owner Mike Roberts is obviously optimistic about having both PJ Martinez and Mike Hampton in the starting rotation, “With Hampton and Martinez leading the way for the Express this year, we certainly hope to improve on the cellar-dweller mentality of the past couple of seasons”.  “We’ve made some trades the past couple of seasons to position ourselves for this For  “With the addition of another bat or two, we feel that we can possibly try sneak into the playoffs and do some damage”.   As far as the trade itself, we feel that we acquired the best pitcher in baseball and really did not hurt ourselves for the short-term.  The long term may be a different story as we traded away the best players from our last two drafts and a good portion of this year’s draft.  We’ve finally reached the point where this organization is tired of losing and we want to produce a winner for the fans of this city.  Hopefully we will be able to field a winner this year and for many years to come.  As for the Kentucky Head Hunters, owner Brian Scantland remarks, “I feel this deal brings to the Head Hunters our number 3, 4, and 5 hitters for the next twelve years. Beltre, age 20, is the most experienced and possibly the youngest player in the deal. Nick Johnson, age 21, appears to be Mark Grace with power, and Petrick’s athleticism, age 22, in Coors’ Field will produce amazing numbers in the future. Woodard is a young starter who will immediately produce in the rotation as a 2 or 3.”  When told of the deal, Adrian Beltre commented, “Now, I’m just going to go out and play the game.   I’m going to work hard every day, but I’m not going to press. I feel good, I feel like I can do a lot to help the team, but I’m not going to try to do everything.”  As for the current debate regarding Beltre’s age, Stat’s Inc. researcher  and author John Sickles remarked, “The whole thing means that Beltre hit .275 with 15 homers in the major  leagues, in Dodger Stadium, at the age of 20. It’s rare enough to do that at age 21, but at 20? That’s Hall of Fame talent, folks.”  Nick Johnson led the entire minor leagues with a an on base percentage of .525 and was 5th in batting average at .345. Ben Petrick was 8th in the entire minor leagues with a slugging percentage of .603. And hardly slowed his production in a September call-up to the majors with a .323 average and 4 home runs in 62 at bats.  As to what Kentucky will do with the 2nd overall pick in the 2000 draft, Scantland says time will tell. With Durazo, Hudson, Dye potentially available, the pick certainly looks to pay immediate dividends.  Pedro Martinez was the first selection in the Mid-West Baseball League 1999 Dispersal Draft on Monday night.  He also was the first trade of the off season, 15 minutes after the draft ended.  The Kentucky Head Hunters selected Martinez first overall, and general manager Brian Scantland was quoted as saying “We had the Martinez deal locked up about 10 days before the draft”.  Kentucky made the selection of Martinez to work for the future and knew they could get optimum value in return for the ace pitcher.  The deal works as follows:

Severn Receives: Pedro Martinez, Kentucky’s 4th & 5th round picks in 2000 MWBL Draft.
Kentucky Receives: Nick Johnson, Steve Woodard, Adrian Beltre, Ben Petrick, Severn’s 1st & 3rd round picks in 2000 MWBL Draft.


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