Leonys Martin the Rangers leadoff hitter...for now

Rick Yeatts

Ron Washington says that, as of right now, Leonys Martin is the team's leadoff hitter

Leonys Martin will be the leadoff hitter for the Texas Rangers in 2014, if the Rangers don't add any other hitters, according to Ron Washington.

I noticed a certain amount of consternation in the comments over Wash's comments, but really, I'm not sure why anyone would be surprised, or why Leonys hitting leadoff, given the current roster construction, would be a problem.

If no position players are added, here's what the starting lineup would likely look like:

Leonys -- CF

Elvis -- SS

Fielder -- 1B

Beltre -- 3B

Rios -- RF

Moreland -- DH

Soto -- C

Profar -- 2B

Gentry -- LF

First of all, this drives home the fact that the Rangers need another player to add to the DH/LF mix, and preferably two.

Secondly, though, given the makeup of the roster, who is going to be a better option in the leadoff spot than Leonys?

Yes, you can argue the Rangers should hit their best hitters at the top of the order, and thus go with, say, Rios/Prince/Beltre in the 1-2-3 spots, but that's a little too radical for Wash's tastes.  Those guys are going to hit 3-4-5.

Otherwise, your best options are probably Gentry or Profar.  But Profar, for all his potential, was even worse last year than Leonys was offensively, and we know that the Rangers are not sold on Gentry as an everyday player (even though, with a .373 OBP in 2013 and a .367 OBP in 2012, he has the on base performance you'd want from a leadoff hitter).

As a practical matter, the Rangers gave Leonys a hefty major league contract because they believed in his bat and in felt he projected as a potential leadoff hitter.  If they don't go out and get someone who is clearly better suited to be the team's leadoff hitter, Leonys is going to get a chance to sink or swim in the role.

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