March 3, 2016
Carlos Martinez was first known as Carlos Matias in baseball circles. Carlos Matias signed with the Boston Red Sox when he was just 17 years old for a modest $140,000. Red flags appeared during his routine background check, though, and Major League Baseball suspended him for a year and voided the six-figure bonus. During that year sabbatical, Matias (now Martinez) grew into his body and began sitting in the mid-90s, earning him a seven-figure signing bonus with the St. Louis Cardinals.
It was an unorthodox introduction to professional baseball for the Dominican native. Strangely enough, a beneficial one for the right-hander, too, according to some: