Even before Craig Gentry went on the disabled list this past weekend with a fractured hand, Leonys Martin had basically taken the starting center field gig with the Texas Rangers and run with it. Gentry's stay on the disabled list has only furthered Martin's comfort in the job and has given him a chance to stand out, and so far, so good for the Cuban import.
Martin, who's signed to a five-year, $20.5 million deal, is still about two years away from hitting his athletic prime, but he's starting to show some serious promise as to what his career could become, and that was definitely the case in Tuesday's series-opener in The Bronx, Martin's first appearance at Yankee Stadium.
Martin took a liking to the shallow right-field porch, slugging two solo home runs to almost the exact same spot to give him his first multi-home run game in his brief career and five long balls on the season.
Over his last 10 games, Martin has recorded at least one hit in each game and is hitting .441 with a .486 on-base percentage and is slugging .706. He has three doubles to go with his two homers on Tuesday, five RBIs and is a perfect 4-for-4 on stolen base attempts, giving him 12 thefts on the season. He's only been caught twice.
As beloved as Gentry is by Rangers fans, and as valuable as he can be to the team with his speed and base-stealing ability, he might be putting the final nail in his playing-time coffin with this injury as it seems Martin is doing everything to show he should be the Rangers' everyday centerfielder.