Leonys + Martin + Perez
Jurickson Profar has always been deemed as nearly untouchable when it comes to Texas Rangers prospects on the trade market.
There's thought Profar would only be dealt for pretty much one guy — young slugger Giancarlo Stanton, and possibly a pitcher like David Price, who will be a free agent after the 2014 season.
Other than Profar, the thought has always been everyone else in the Rangers' system — minors and majors — is up for grabs if the return is right. But you'd have to think the play this year from Leonys Martin and Martin Perez has somewhat changed the Rangers' plans for them, in a good way.
Martin, who has been in a slump as of late, has taken a firm hold on the Rangers' leadoff spot, even with Ian Kinsler being the loyal-to-a-fault Ron Washington's choice at the top of the order. Martin forced Washington to keep him in the leadoff role, as he's hit .265 with a .320 on-base percentage — numbers that have skyrocketed since his move to the leadoff spot a little more than a month ago. He's also stolen 30 bases and has seven home runs and has proven to have one of the best outfield arms in all of baseball with 12 outfield assists. Oh, and he's 25 years old.
Then there's Perez, the rookie lefty who is on an absolute tear over his last seven starts and could make a realistic claim to being the team's "ace" over that span. Over the course of the season, he leads all rookie pitchers with nine wins and is sporting a 3.41 ERA. His changeup has proven lethal and he trusts it, a rarity for a 22-year-old.
So yeah, this could end in one of two ways, and both ways are good.
Are the two youngsters now long-term stalwarts in the Rangers' lineup, or are they simply increasing their value on the market? Either way, it's a good thing for the Rangers.