Martin makes splash in Frisco debut
Cuban emigre goes 3-for-5 with two doubles and a stolen base
By John Parker / Special to MLB.com
05/13/2011 1:16 AM ET
Highly touted Cuban-born outfielder Leonys Martin made his Minor League debut on Thursday night and did not disappoint.
The 23-year-old went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a stolen base and an RBI in Double-A Frisco’s 10-7 win over visiting Corpus Christi.
After arriving in the United States 10 days ago, Martin went 7-for-16 in five games at the Rangers’ extended spring training program in Arizona before reporting to Frisco. He’s a veteran of the Cuban national team and hit .314 over five seasons for Villa Clara in the Cuban League.
Martin, who bats left and throws right, played center field on Thursday. That had been the roster spot belonging to Rangers prospect Engel Beltre, who has been serving an indefinite suspension since April 26 after an altercation with fans in San Antonio and is expected to move to a corner spot when he returns.
Martin got to work right away with the RoughRiders in the leadoff spot, doubling to center in his first at-bat. He opened the third inning with a single, but was caught stealing. After grounding out in the fourth and flying out in the sixth, he smacked an RBI double to provide an insurance run in the eighth, later stealing third with two outs.
“It’s just one game, but he certainly didn’t do anything to change anyone’s [high] opinion of him,” said Frisco manager Steve Buechele. “He made a quite a splash.
“He’s aggressive at the plate and on the bases, which is the way the Rangers want him to be. He can make things happen and has a chance to be a great leadoff hitter.”
John Parker is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.