Other than one little, short bad stretch earlier this season, second-year center fielder Leonys Martin has had a great year for the Texas Rangers. Now that he's started to utilize his speed and start stealing bases again, it's getting even better.
But what some people might forget, even though they shouldn't, is that Martin also has one of the best outfield arms in all of baseball.
So when Daric Barton slugged a ball toward the Rangers' bullpen with Josh Reddick on first base, it looked like it was about to be 6-0 in the eighth inning and any hope of a possible comeback would be dashed. Instead, Martin went up against the wall and robbed a possible Barton home run, but he wasn't finished.
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He turned around and fired a rocket about 300 feet to a waiting Prince Fielder at first base and doubled up Reddick to end the inning after an official review determined Reddick was out after he was initially ruled safe.
Martin appears to be ready to breakout and have a big season after a year of ups and downs last year. So far this year, Martin is hitting .310 with a .363 on-base percentage. Over the past 10 games, he has just one hitless one and in that game he stole a base and scored a run. He has 11 RBIs on the season, mostly hitting in the eighth spot in the order, which remains a bit of mystery. He's also tops on the team with seven stolen bases.
Martin was pushed this spring by the emerging Michael Choice and looked to be risking a possible platoon situation. But toward the end of the spring, Martin got it in gear and he hasn't let up since the games started counting. He should be the Rangers' center fielder for quite some time.