Washington: Leonys Martin needs "a full year in the minors"

Feb 28, 2012; Surprise, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin (27) poses for a picture during the Rangers photo day at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-US PRESSWIRE

Evan Grant has a blog post up with comments from Ron Washington about the centerfield situation, and while, theoretically Leonys Martin has been included in the competition, Washington is saying otherwise, indicating his intention is that Martin get "a full year in the minors" in 2012.

Martin was signed last season to a 5 year, $15.5 million major league deal as a Cuban defector, and after his hot start in Frisco (and Julio Borbon's ongoing struggles), there was talk in 2011 that Martin would be the team's starter in center before the season ended.

Instead, Martin struggled when he got to AAA, and after a stint last summer where he was with the major league club working out (but not on the major league roster), the indication from Washington and the coaching staff was that he still needed reps and regular playing time.

This opens the door for Borbon and Craig Gentry to share the centerfield job, at least at the start of the season. Grant mentions that the "lack of refinement" to Martin's game is evident this spring, and it sounds like a full season at Round Rock wouldn't be a bad thing for Martin.

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2011 23 TEX-min AAA,AA,Rk 73 343 302 53 89 16 5 4 42 19 11 27 38 .295 .362 .421 .783
2011 23 TEX AL 8 8 8 2 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .375 .375 .500 .875 128
1 Yr 8 8 8 2 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .375 .375 .500 .875 128
162 Game Avg. 162 162 162 41 61 20 0 0 0 0 0 0 20 .375 .375 .500 .875 128
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/6/2012.
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