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Rangers Hoping Martin Avoids Sophomore Slump

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Leonys Martin showed flashes of brilliance in 2013 and showed why the Texas Rangers invested $25 million in him before the Cuban defector ever played a big-league game.

The speedy, athletic centerfielder showed the ability to get on base in several ways, including with the drag bunt and also became a lethal base-stealer, especially over the second half of the season as he racked up 36 stolen bases and led the league with 11 bunt singles.

With Shin-Soo Choo's addition to the Rangers' lineup as the team's leadoff hitter, the newly acquired on-base machine will allow Martin to settle into a less pressure-packed situation in the No. 9 spot, where he can utilize his speed to transition to the top of the order.

"We certainly hope that with what Martin achieved last year, he can continue to build on it," Rangers manager Ron Washington told MLB.com. "And if he does, he becomes the guy that we always knew he was. It was quite an experience for him to learn how to play the game of baseball under control and contribute."

Martin had a .301 on-base percentage hitting in the leadoff spot for the Rangers — a horrible number, and good for 39th out of 45 players that hit leadoff for at least 140 plate appearances. Choo led the pack with the Reds with a .432 on-base percentage.

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