ST. PETERSBURG -- Dave Martinez acknowledges that there is part of him that hopes to someday manage or coach his son, Dalton. It does not look like that day is coming right now, however, even after Tampa Bay used its 31st-round pick in the First-Year Player Draft to select the Rays bench coach's 18-year-old son.
Dalton will most likely attend college, whether it's a four-year school like the University of South Florida or a junior college like Central Florida Community College. Regardless, the Rays drafted Dalton as a center fielder and Martinez admitted he was "very proud" of his son.
"He's a good kid," Martinez said. "He loves to play."
Dalton didn't play high school baseball this season, instead attending Dunedin Academy to focus on his school work. But he did play for Countryside High School's varsity team each of the past three seasons, batting .320 with a .370 on-base percentage and 12 stolen bases as a junior.
Martinez said his son attended a pre-Draft workout at Tropicana Field and performed well, apparently well enough to impress scouting director R.J. Harrison and executive vice president Andrew Friedman.
"I knew they were thinking about it," Martinez said. "I asked Andrew, I said, 'Are you going to draft him?' He kind of gave me that smirky look like he wouldn't say."
"We have legitimate interest. The kid has some ability. We'll watch him play during the summer," Harrison said. "We're all going to get together and do what's in the best interest of Dalton."
Martinez heard about the news from head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield during the Rays' 8-0 win over the Orioles. He plans to sit down with Harrison and Friedman some time soon to talk about his son's options, but he assumes that conversation won't end with Dalton starting the road to playing for his father -- not yet, at least.
"He wants to play," Martinez said. "He's been around this his whole life. He loves it."