We’ve been championing this idea on this blog for quite some time now: Leonys Martin was made to be a leadoff hitter. That talk took a bit of a back seat this year when the Texas Rangers brought in Shin-Soo Choo as a big off-season free agent signing and all the getting on base that comes along with that guy.
Choo’s injury-filled season, however, has allowed some other guys to hit in the No. 1 spot in the lineup, and since Tim Bogar has taken over on an interim basis for Ron Washington — three weeks ago today — it seems the job is Martin’s to lose. And that’s a great idea on the interim manager’s part.
Martin has all the tools you look for a leadoff hitter. He can get on base via bunt, as evidenced by his AL-leading bunt base hit total, which he added to on Thursday night. He can steal bases, as evidenced by his 30th stolen base of the night on Thursday. The one knock on Martin’s game as a leadoff hitter has been his plate discipline, and he appears to be changing that for the better.
Since Bogar took over and Martin has been the club’s full-time leadoff hitter, he’s hitting .316 with a .366 on-base percentage — still not utterly fantastic, but a massive improvement in that department.
If Martin could play his way into full-time leadoff man status next season, it would allow Bogar, or whoever is managing this thing, to shuffle up the lineup a bit. He says he’d move Choo to fifth. If it’s me, I’m moving Choo to No. 2 and dropping Elvis Andrus to seventh or ninth. But I get paid to write, Bogar gets paid to manage, so what do I know?