There might not be anyone that's had a more impressive spring training for the Texas Rangers, well aside from Jeff Baker, than Cuban prospect Leonys Martin.
He's been locked in a battle for center field playing time with Craig Gentry since spring training began, and both have played well in Cactus League play, but Martin has stood out because of his high ceiling and offensive ability. On Thursday night against the Los Angeles Angels, he worked a five-pitch at-bat and sent the Rangers off winners with a bases-clearing double that gave the Rangers a 10-9 walk-off win over the Rangers.
It was the latest in a long line now of recent strong play from the 25-year-old Cuban defector, who signed a multi-million dollar deal with the Rangers back in 2011 without ever playing a big-league game.
So far this spring, Martin has hit .378 with a .431 on-base percentage and is slugging at a .533 clip with 11 RBIs on three doubles and two triples. He's still got some work to do defensively, with plate discipline (eight Ks, five walks) and on the bases as he's been caught stealing as many times as he's been successful (three each).
But one thing is for certain, Martin has earned himself some serious playing time this season and might just be one of the new exciting young players in the Rangers' new-look lineup.