Texas Rangers minor league outfielder J.P. Martinez has been promoted from low-A Hickory to high-A Down East, it was announced today. Martinez is the former Cuba League player who the Rangers signed with their leftover internationalmbonus pool money a little over a year ago after missing out on Shohei Ohtani.
Martinez, 23, started the 2019 season in Hickory in part because of the crowded outfield at Down East. With Bubba Thompson being promoted and Leody Taveras repeating high-A, the Rangers has two guys there who were going to be sharing center field reps, and Martinez, who played short season ball last year, got his full season debut in Hickory to help manage the center field playing time.
Martinez was off to a slow start statistically in Hickory, slashing .250/.295/.400. Right now Down East is showing Thompson, Taveras, Martinez and Eric Jenkins all on the roster. It’s possible Jenkins could move to Frisco, or Thompson, who is off to an abysmal start and did not start yesterday, could be moved to extended spring or be made inactive for a short time to work on some things.
UPDATE — It has since been announced Bubba Thompson will miss four weeks with a broken hamate bone.