Red Fever
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Martin Looking to Ramp Things Up

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Leonys Martin has had an up-and-down season and has drawn his fair share of criticism throughout the season, and it's with good reason.

    The talent Martin possesses is evident, but so far, he's yet to be able to harness it and realize it to its full potential, and that's frustrating for the Rangers, who gave Martin a fairly sizeable contract out of Cuba before he'd ever played a game in the majors.

    After a quick 70-game minor league career, Martin hit the majors and has been gifted the starting center field job beginning last season. He's shown flashes of brilliance — the ability to get on base via bunt, steal bases and that outfield arm, man that arm. He's also shown a tendency to take bad angles in the field, make baserunning errors and his high-pitched voice has drawn the ire of his outfield teammates who have said they can't hear him calling for balls in the field.

    He entered Tuesday's game against the New York Yankees in an 0-for-19 skid and has since gone 3-for-8 in his last two games with a triple, run and RBI. He's batting .262, which is better than the .260 he finished last season with. He's on pace to hit more triples than he did last year, more home runs and more RBIs, so there is some promise there.

    Martin, however, needs to take a stranglehold on the job and not let the Rangers doubt his ability at all, so a strong finish over the next two months would be huge for Martin, who will be entering his age 27 season next year, which is typically about the peak for a player.