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Martin Thriving in Leadoff Role

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    NEWSLETTERS

    In a season which appears to be lost, the Texas Rangers are experimenting with a few things — some out of necessity and others for the sake of glimpsing into the future.

    One of those recent experiments is hitting centerfielder Leonys Martin in the leadoff spot with Shin-Soo Choo moved to the No. 3 spot out of necessity and Michael Choice not really cutting it in his brief stint as the leadoff man.

    So far, so good for Martin.

    Martin, 26, isn't exactly young anymore. He's a year from being in his athletic prime of age 27 and the Rangers are still relatively unsure in what they have in the Cuban import. Here's what we know about Martin: He can get on base in several ways, including the bunt, he has blazing speed and he's becoming a pretty effective base-stealer.

    In the past, he's struggled when given opportunities in the leadoff role, but this year, in an albeit small sample size he's thriving.

    In his seven starts in the leadoff spot in the order, Martin is hitting .333 with a .429 on-base percentage with three doubles, five walks — a problem for Martin in the past — and he's 4-for-6 on stolen-base attempts in those games.

    The Rangers signed Choo to be their leadoff man long-term, and he still might be. But if Martin takes to the spot well, he could be sliding up to that spot and Choo could be a very good No. 2 hitter, as well.