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Leonys Martin, 2014 Texas Rangers
Leonys Martin became a full-time player for the first time last season and his bright spots as a player, leading the league in bunt singles and racking up 36 stolen bases while proving to have one of the most feared outfield arms in baseball with 14 outfield assists.
He also struggled at times, and faded majorly down the stretch, especially when the Rangers tinkered with him hitting leadoff for a few weeks when Elvis Andrus was struggling horribly and Ian Kinsler was on the shelf.
Martin went to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic and was awful in a brief stint before leaving prematurely, then he went to spring training and continued his struggle before picking things up over the final week or so in Arizona. Good thing for Martin and the Rangers, that success has carried over into the regular season.
Through the first three games of the season, Martin is hitting .455 (5-for-11) with a .538 on-base percentage and leads the team with four RBIs while hitting out of the eighth spot in the order. He also has the team's lone stolen base so far this season.
With the emergence of Michael Choice this spring and his inclusion on the Opening Day roster as a bench bat, the pressure was on Martin to perform or risk losing playing time to Choice, who is a polished hitter and a solid defensive outfielder. So far, anyway, Martin has given the Rangers reason to relax a bit in their concern about his play over the last eight months or so.