First-round draft pick Ethan Martin was signed to a contract that included a $1.73-million signing bonus and took part in batting practice with the Dodgers.
Martin will be developed as a pitcher, but the 19-year-old from Georgia was wanted by a couple of other teams as a third baseman. Seeing Martin hit four home runs in batting practice, Dodgers Manager Joe Torre asked, "Are you sure you want to pitch?"
Replied Martin, "Yes sir, I guess so."
Martin didn't start pitching full time until he was a junior in high school but said he was confident in the call made by assistant general manager Logan White to make him a pitcher, based on White's track record. White faced a similar decision when drafting James Loney in 2002 and decided to make him a first baseman instead of a pitcher.
"It makes me feel good inside that he knows what he's doing," Martin said of White.
Martin will travel Sunday to Vero Beach, Fla., home of the Dodgers' rookie ball affiliate. White said the hard-throwing Martin had a heavy workload this spring -- he threw 130 pitches in one game -- and will be limited to 35 to 40 innings for the remainder of the year.