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Monday, January 27, 2014

2014 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT SLEEPER: LEONYS MARTIN OUTFIELDER TEXAS RANGERS

                                                                Leonys Martín

With the era of pitching dominance well under way, more and more MLB teams are employing the use of smallball to try and scratch out runs in this much more offensively curtailed era.  Thus the increase of stolen bases over the last few seasons which also has coincided with the top in home runs.  With steals being in massive abundance for 2014, there is little sense in using an early pick on a specialist such as Michael Bourn.  Instead if you want to make a splash in steals art t a nice affordable price, look no further than Texas Rangers outfielder Leonys Martin.  Martin of course burst onto the scene last season when he stole 36 bases in only 457 at-bats while also adding a bonus 8 home runs.  So with that intriguing campaign in the books, let's see what Martin could provide his fantasy baseball owners this season. 

In looking at the total numbers Martin put up in 2013, we already mentioned the 36 steals and 8 home runs.  However Martin also batted .260 with 66 runs and 49 RBI.  At this point there is some debate as to where Martin could bat in the Rangers' lineup this season.  If Elvis Andrus stays in the number 2 spot, Martin could very well bat leadoff which would mean 40 steals is a lock and 50 is entirely possible.  Also Martin would be able to easily hit the 80 runs mark as well with likely a few more thrown in with huge boppers Adrian Beltre, Prince Fielder, and Nelson Cruz hitting behind him.  However even if Martin hits towards the bottom of the order, he should be able to threaten 40 steals due to his very aggressive approach to that part of the game.  The runs however would take a firm hit. 

Looking at the rest of Martin's game, the .260 average leaves a lot to be desired and some big time struggles against lefties will not help.  Also like most speed guys, forget about seeing more than 50 or so RBI.  However Martin is not just a pure speed guy like a Juan Pierre.  The fact he added 8 home runs last season shows he can help just a bit there which is a nice bonus.

All in all, Leonys Martin looks like a nice place for your to look for your stolen bases this season.  Martin offers a bit of pop and upside to make him somewhat more interesting but be sure you are not buying him for that part of his game. 

2014 PROJECTION:  .272 7 HR 59 RBI 81 R 44 SB

Be sure to check back for more of the starting pitching rankings as we move forward through the week.  Let us hear your thoughts.

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