Monday, May 7, 2012

Prospect Watch: Leonys Martin

Coming into the 2012 season OF Leonys Martin ranked as the third overall prospect for the Texas Rangers according to Marc Hulet of Fangraphs. With Josh Hamilton also headed for free agency the arrival of Leonys Martin seemed imminent. Unfortunately Martin hurt his thumb and is now out for 6-8 weeks. Martin only has a little over a year of experience is pro ball, but if the Rangers opted to not sign Hamilton, he would undoubtedly be the starting center fielder in 2013.

Heading into next season Leoyns Martin will be 25 years old. but in his brief time in the minors he's shown that he should be a contributor on the big league club. Last season he started in rookie ball for the Texas Rangers, but made it all the way to AAA, before getting a brief stint in the majors. While in the minors he's showed a good eye at the plate, walking over 10% of the time in two different levels, and striking out less than 14% of the time. He played in 81 games, and showed some decent power. Besides his stint in AAA he had an ISO over .200, but we can't take anything from it because of the extremely small sample sizes. In AAA he didn't show any power, but he flashed some of his speed off, swiping 9 bags.

This year he started in AAA, and was off to a great start. He continued to show an exceptional eye at the plate, walking over 10% of the time, and struck out less than 15% of the time. Again it's a small sample size, but he showed some flashes of power, posting an ISO of .173. He also got 7 steals, but was thrown out 6 times. Defensively he looks to be above average, his strong arm and speed is a testament to that. Overall he projects as a good regular.

Like I mentioned Josh Hamilton is due for a giant pay day, and if the Rangers are hesitant on signing him they have a player who can replace Hamilton. While Martin will never have the power, he could potentially be a 3-4 WAR player during his prime.

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