SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 28: Leonys Martin #2 of the Texas Rangers is congratulated by teammates after hitting a three-run homer against the Seattle Mariners in the second inning at Safeco Field on August 28, 2013 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Leonys Martin didn't have a great winter to bookend his breakout 2013 season — his first year as an everyday player in the big leagues that saw several highs and lows.
Martin went to the Dominican Republic to play winter-league ball and left the league after just 15 games to return home for extensive dental work.
His final tally after 15 games? .170 batting average, one home run, three RBIs, four stolen bases. Martin's manager at Licey, former Indians skipper Manny Acta, told The Dallas Morning News that Martin's timing at the plate was off and he wished he would've stayed longer.
“He’s very talented and played great defense all around,” Acta said. “It was too bad he had to stop playing. He could have used more at-bats against left-handers.”
Ron Washington said he wants Martin to push himself more and build on a 2013 season that saw him hit .260 with a .313 on-base percentage, eight homers, 49 RBIs and steal 36 bases. He had stretches where he was an on-base machine, and others where it didn't seem he could do anything right — a typical year for a first-year starter.
Washington wants more in 2014.
“He might have been tired,” Washington told the Morning News. “He’s a young kid who hasn’t learned how to push himself when things aren’t going good. He hasn’t learned how to grind. He’s learning, but he’s not there yet.”