Let’s face it, Leonys Martin has been a bust.
The Cuban defector arrived in 2010 with tons of potential, a $15 million contract and the inside track on being the Rangers’ center fielder of the present and future. But where countrymen Jose Abreu, Yasiel Puig and Yoenis Cespedes have blossomed into big-league stars, Martin toils as only a decent player on a horrible team.
But then, out of nowhere, signs of life. Flashes of brilliance. And after last night’s career-best four-hit game, renewed hope.
Martin snapped out of an 0-for-12 slump with the four hits, temporarily masking what has been an underwhelming season. He’s hitting only .256, with only five homers and 20 stolen bases. And in the field – while his arm has created outs – his decision-making is at times laughable, evidenced a couple of weeks ago when he ran into Alex Rios and had a dropped ball carom off his noggin.
He just seems too anxious. At the plate, where he swings at too many pitches in the dirt, and in the field where he tries to do too much.
Martin still has the talent to be a star. But at 26, we need to see more nights like last night when he produced four singles, a stolen base and a run scored in Texas’ 3-2, 14-inning win over the Rays.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.