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Rangers close to signing Cuban outfielder Leonys Martin

Apr 6, 2011, 2:19 PM EDT

leonys martin cuba

According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram the Rangers are close to signing outfielder Leonys Martin, who was declared a free agent last month after defecting from Cuba in 2010.

No word yet on how much the Rangers would be shelling out sign the 23-year-old, but last year John Manuel of Baseball America speculated that Martin “figures to garner a seven-figure signing bonus once he establishes residency and becomes a free agent.”

Here’s an excerpt from Manuel’s scouting report:

He’s a left-handed hitter whose best tools are his speed and defense. He’s a plus runner at least, being timed in 4.1 seconds to first base from the left side … and showed strong small-ball skills, with the ability to drag bunt for hits and handle the bat on the hit-and-run. He also played center field and showed at least average range.

Sounds like an intriguing player, particularly with the Rangers’ current speedy center fielder, Julio Borbon, struggling so much defensively. Wilson writes that Martin would likely start out in the minors, but he’s seemingly not far from being MLB-ready.

  1. b7p19 - Apr 6, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    That is NOT a very good scouting report. It sounds like Tony Gwynn Jr. up until the “at least average range” part. His three best skills are bunting, running to first base, and handling the bat on a hit and run?

  2. APBA Guy - Apr 6, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    I’d like to hear what Law says about him. I saw Josh in center the other night, with Cruz in right and Murphy in center. That’s not their best ideal configuration, but it may be their “best” in terms of playability, as Borbon doesn’t show maturity or consistency.

    An intriguing option for the Rangers is an in division trade with the A’s for a surplus outfielder, as they have Sweeney and Jackson and only need to keep one. Neither are in the Cruz/Hamilton class, or even close, but both would be upgrades overall to Borbon.

  3. mattraw - Apr 6, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    He should’ve gone by “Leony” for the first few years before letting anyone know about that “s.” That’s just how it’s done.

  4. BC - Apr 6, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    What is it with the extra “s” on the first name? I don’t get it.When did this start?

    • spudchukar - Apr 6, 2011 at 5:10 PM

      Probably with James

    • jwbiii - Apr 6, 2011 at 9:46 PM

      Kendry(s) Morales

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