Carlos Martinez is only 24 but is already one of the best talents in the game for the Cardinals.

In the 2016 season, Cardinals starting pitcher Carlos Martinez is set to make $539K. To put this in perspective, the average MLB starting pitcher makes $6.1 million (ESPN). That’s 11 times more than Martinez makes. Now if payroll were the only measurement of skill, the Yankees and Dodgers would be in the World Series every year. Obviously, this isn’t true otherwise I’d be out of a job.

Martinez is truly the best bargain in baseball. In his first 3 starts of the seasons, he has 3 wins, the latest of them coming in yesterdays game against the Cubs. Martinez has gone at least 6 innings in all of his starts, taking the burden off of the bullpen.

On the mound, Martinez’s pitches are nasty and will only continue to improve. His fastball sits around 96MPH but he can hit triple digits if necessary, even late in the game. In addition to its speed, his fastball also has tail, making it almost impossible for hitters to square up (except for Anthony Rizzo yesterday but we won’t talk about that). To keep hitters from sitting on his fastball, Martinez also has a wicked slider. Hitters look foolish when he throws this pitch, aimlessly waving at it.

When Martinez is on the mound, it’s hard to believe he is only 24 years old. In 2013, Martinez was crucial for the Cardinal’s postseason run. He made 12 appearances out of the bullpen, blowing his triple digit fastball past MLB hitters.

In 2015, Martinez was converted to a starter and was ridiculously dominate. In his first full season, he won 14 games while posting a 3.01 ERA. Martinez is also a strikeout machine striking out 9.22 batters through 9 innings.

In 2016, Martinez has already proven that he should be talked about with the leagues best. All of his first 3 starts were quality starts, giving up less than 3 runs in at least 6 innings pitched. He’s also shown that he simply throws outs. He holds a batting average against of under .200.

The 24 year old right hander is truly something special. Expect him to be crucial in the Cardinals 2016 playoff run.

Photo Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports