Thursday, April 14, 2011

Leonys Martin

Still more conflicting reports about Martin, tending toward the more predominant pessimism about his ceiling, this time from Buster Olney. The majority of reports seem to add up to an average ML CF across the board, which may or may not be an upgrade on Borbon given that Borbon is a plus defender in CF already. The scuttlebutt: Plus to plus-plus speed, average defense, AA arm (for a CF), even splits, slightly better than average walk to SO ratio, hit tool uncertain but ceiling seems limited to fringe average for CF (contact hitter, small ball guy, good bunter, gap power unclear). Here is Olney. Make sure to check out the moronic comment from the last "talent evaluator":

• The Rangers are reportedly close to signing outfielder Leonys Martin, a Cuban defector. I emailed some talent evaluators not affiliated with the Rangers and asked what they know of Martin. Their responses:

Talent evaluator No. 1: "I think he has a chance to be a solid player, similar to Juan Pierre, with a better arm. Does that translate to a $15 million deal? I don't know, but Texas's track record on international players over the past few years has been pretty good."

Talent evaluator No. 2: "I like Leonys Martin and he was undoubtedly one of Cuba's top young players, but, as with a lot of good Cuban players, I'm not convinced his skill set will translate into him becoming a premium Major League player.

"The best way I can describe Martin is that his reputation seems to exceed the sum of his parts. Martin has plus speed and a good arm but no other premium skills or tools, so the rumored $15M seems aggressive.

"He was about a .310 or .315 career hitter in Cuba, but that was in a pitching-poor league in which the average hitter has hit .300 in recent years, so he was only a slightly above-average hitter down there. He has a little pop but he's a slasher type who rarely puts the ball in the air, so I'd be surprised if he hits more than 8 to 12 HR in the ML. On the plus side, Martin wasn't overly susceptible to left-handed pitching and he walked slightly more than he struck out, although neither his strikeout nor walk ratios were really good or really bad.

"Martin definitely has plus speed and a good arm, but those two tools didn't translate into Martin being an elite defensive CF in Cuba. As you know, people have a tendency to believe a plus arm and plus speed equals plus defense, but Martin is nowhere near being a Michael Bourn type in CF. All in all, I can see Martin as a capable, average major league centerfielder, but probably not an elite CF. While I don't believe either Jose Iglesias or Adeiny Hechavarria will hit in the ML, both should be premium defensive SS. But in Martin's case, he grades out more average across the board (except speed), so it's harder to see star potential."

Talent evaluator No. 3: "I have never seen the player, but he sounds like he has strong running ability, fielding ability and throwing ability with good hitting ability. Limited power potential."


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