Lazy Comps: Leonys Martin
Lazy Comps are comparisons, and they are lazy because its not really in-depth scouting.
Leonys Martin, OF
Laynce Nix: OF, through 10 seasons 3.6 bWAR, .245/.290/.719
Nix is/was an outfielder who can play all three outfield positions, with plus speed, but he was never a burner. He has/had a plus arm, and a little pop (162 game average of 16 HRs).
The drawback of Nix’s game once he reached the Majors is he became a platoon player. Nix has only faced lefties 208 times in his ENTIRE 10 year career.
If Leonys Martin only becomes a platoon player after Texas dropped $15.5 million on him in 2011, it will be an outright disappointment. Martin has the skills, just like Nix has/had to become an impact player, but if things don’t materialize- Martin won’t become that impact player, nor will he headline any deals (like he could now).
Nix was drafted in the 4th round of the 2000 draft by Texas. He entered the Rangers organization with much less fanfare than Martin did. However, Nix was ranked the 85th best prospect in baseball by Baseball America before the 2003 season. Martin was ranked the 79th best prospect by Baseball America before the 2012 season.
The comparisons don’t end there- their names both start with L’s and have unnecessary Y’s.
As Nix’s game never materialized, he was packaged with three others for two months of Carlos Lee, and some toss-in named Nelson Cruz.
Hopefully Martin reaches his ceiling (further down) or is used to headline a major trade, while his potential can still be realized.
Carlos Gonzalez OF, through five seasons 13.9 bWAR, .299/.355/.874
Why are you laughing? Oh, the power numbers, Leonys will never put Cargo-like numbers, you say?
What if I told you he already has?
Gonzalez 2009, AAA, Colorado Springs, 23 years old
48 games played, .339/.418/1.048
Martin 2012, AAA, Round Rock, 24 years old
55 games played, .359/.422/1.033
Also consider Gonzalez’s power numbers are much inflated due to playing in Colorado (1.003 OPS home/ .735 OPS road). So maybe he isn’t the power hitter his numbers indicate.
Sure, a 50 game sample is small, but Martin still has a higher MiLB OPS (.891) than Cargo’s (.831). And truth be told- Martin’s career thus far is a small sample size (603 MiLB plate appearances, 60 MLB plate appearances).
I don’t understand the sentiment that Martin is a going to be a doubles hitter, when he’s proven that otherwise in his limited career to this point. I think he’ll surprise some people in 2013.
Over a 162 game average- Gonzalez averages 24 steals per season. 20-30 steals per season is a task that is definitely within Martin’s ability.
Their defensive games also resemble one another, Gonzalez can play all three OF positions, however the majority of his games have come in the OF corners. the same projection is out there for Martin.
In conclusion, Martin’s career will likely fall in between Nix’s and Cargo’s. That Cuban contract will soon become a bargain or a bust.
Dan Allsup is a staff writer for Shutdown Inning. You can reach him on Twitter @DanAllsup.