Just as we wrote earlier today that Mitch Moreland is really starting to hit his stride in what could be a make-or-break year for the veteran first baseman in Texas, the same could be said for center fielder Leonys Martin and his 2015 campaign.
Martin needs a big year in 2015 to give the Rangers faith in him that he can be their long-term center fielder as he hits his arbitration year this winter, and so far, he hasn't done much to give the Rangers any interest in keeping him around at what will be an increase from his current annual salary of roughly $3 million.
Martin is dealing with a wrist injury at the moment, and quite frankly, it's a bit surprising the Rangers just didn't make a move to put him on the DL when he'd already missed a handful of games instead of bringing him back at a limited effectiveness. All of that, and Delino DeShields is playing really well right now and can play in center field.
Martin still makes boneheaded plays in the field and takes bad angles all the time. He also makes highlight-reel grabs and has a hose for an arm, so there are some redeeming qualities. The Rangers have waited for Martin to realize all of his potential, and with his unique tool set, there is a ton of it.
It needs to be this year, or the Rangers could find themselves moving on with Martin set to earn a raise this winter. And a .198 batting average with a .240 on-base percentage isn't going to cut it.