Time To Take Notice

Leonys
Ladies and Gentlemen, let me present your everyday center fielder for the Texas Rangers. His name is Leonys Martin. Not only has Martin won that job outright…..probably, he’s been on the watch list of a few people out there in the baseball blogosphere and the local media for quite some time. But now the fans are starting to take notice of that speed, that arm and his ability to hit.
Leonys is currently in the midst of an 8-game hitting streak, where he’s hitting .444 over that time with 4 stolen bases and 3 doubles. While that is not a Nelson Cruz type of team-carrying streak, it is important to realize that Leonys has a total of 244 Major League plate appearances as of today. One fun note, that you may not realize, is that this is his second 8 game hit streak this year. While he’s had his share of bad AB’s or 4 game hitless streaks, Martin is starting to figure out how to hit Major League pitching. Below is his current streak.

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt Inngs PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS
57 Jun 15 TEX TOR L,1-6 CG 4 4 0 3 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 .266 .316 .413 .729
58 Jun 16 TEX TOR L,2-7 CG 4 3 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 .267 .321 .418 .739
59 Jun 17 TEX OAK W,8-7 CG 4 3 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 .268 .325 .423 .748
60 Jun 18 TEX OAK L,2-6 CG 3 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .270 .325 .421 .746
61 Jun 19 TEX OAK W,9-4 CG 4 3 2 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 .277 .335 .426 .761
62 Jun 20 TEX OAK W,4-3 GS-9 3 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .278 .335 .424 .759
63 Jun 21 TEX @ STL W,6-4 CG 4 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .278 .333 .420 .753
64 Jun 22 TEX @ STL W,4-2 CG 4 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .283 .337 .422 .759
TEX 184 166 25 47 6 4 3 12 12 34 12 2 .283 .337 .422 .759
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/23/2013.
As you can see, Leonys isn’t tearing up the league, but what do you expect from the 9th place hitter? Two 8 game hitting streaks from a guy that will play his 97th career game tonight is not too shabby. He has an above average hit tool, and if he can realize his potential, look out American League.

One asset that Martin possesses is speed. While he isn’t Ricky Henderson, he has 12 stolen bases this year, and more importantly has only been caught twice. Currently, he’s stolen 9 in a row without being caught. Compare that to Elvis who has 16 stolen bases with 2 caught stealings, but who has 145 more plate appearances. Leonys doesn’t have game changing speed. But he is equipped with enough speed to be able to steal when he wants or lay down the bunt hit, like we witnessed last night. Leonys also has 4 triple so far, which is good enough for 10th in all of MLB.

Defensively, Leonys is still learning to play the outfield at the Major League level. He’s going to get the occasional bad jump or take a crazy route to try to catch a fly ball. However, what he lacks in defensive ability, he makes up for with that rocket strapped to his right shoulder. Martin already has 5 outfield assists in 2013, which leads the team and ties him for 5th in the AL. He has three assists from CF, one from RF and one from LF.

Leonys is learning to play the game at this level. He’s been fun to watch over the first 75 games of the year and he’ll be fun to watch for the remainder of the season. He is going to make a few errors, go into a slump and look terrible at the plate a few times. Remember, Leonys is only 25 years old and limited playing time in pro ball. Be patient, Ranger fans…..Leonys Martin has the talent to be a special player in Arlington.

96 career games. 244 career plate appearances.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2011 TEX 8 8 8 2 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .375 .375 .500 .875 130
2012 TEX 24 52 46 6 8 5 2 0 6 3 0 4 12 .174 .235 .370 .605 57
2013 TEX 64 184 166 25 47 6 4 3 12 12 2 12 34 .283 .337 .422 .759 101
3 Yrs 96 244 220 33 58 12 6 3 18 15 2 16 47 .264 .317 .414 .730 93
162 Game Avg. 162 412 371 56 98 20 10 5 30 25 3 27 79 .264 .317 .414 .730 93
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/23/2013.
Patrick Despain is the CEO and Co-Founder of ShutDown Inning. He can be reached at Patrick.Despain@ShutDownInning.com or on Twitter @ShutDownInning
Patrick Despain
Patrick is a member of the IBWAA and creator of Shutdown Inning. He was raised him Arlington, Texas and grew up watching games on HSE and listening to Eric Nadel and Mark Holtz on the radio. He is a long time Rangers fan and never achieved his dream of being a bat boy. He know lives in Georgia with dreams of a Texas return.

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