May 11th, 2011
Aaron Goldsmith and I just returned from Arlington after a fun day. It is official–Leonys Martin is a member of the Rangers organization. He was introduced to the media at noon today, prior to the “game that didn’t actually happen because of rain” between Oakland and Texas.
Plenty of notes on Martin, and a few others, in an off-day edition of the Facts.
- Martin will debut with the RoughRiders Thursday night against the Corpus Christi Hooks. He is expected to be the leadoff hitter for the ‘Riders. In five extended spring training games in Surprise, Arizona, Martin batted .438 (7-for-16) with three walks.
- Here are a couple of thoughts from Martin as spoken by a translator, who was Bill McLaughlin. McLaughlin is the Rangers’ Manager of Cultural Enhancement and an international scout. Keep in mind that McLaughlin, at times, uses third-person when speaking for Martin.
- “He is very happy to be a part of the organization. It’s an organization that has a lot of union, and he’s happy to be here.”
- “I thank them for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this organization, and I have the confidence in me to help bring a championship to the organization.”
- A few other thoughts from Martin during the press conference. He hasn’t had a chance to watch a lot of big league baseball, but he did say that he patterns himself after the Mets’ Jose Reyes. He also said that he is good friends with current Frisco first baseman Jose Ruiz. Ruiz, also originally from Cuba, is currently on the Temporary Inactive List while attending the birth of his child.
- In his five seasons in the Cuban League, Martin hit .314 with 38 homers and 190 runs batted in. During the 2009-10 campaign, his last in the league, he hit .326 with a .935 OPS.
- Martin does not speak English, but he does realize that it will be one of the most challenging aspects of his acclimation process. Based on the way he conducted himself at the presser, Martin seems like a very respectful young man. He appeared to get a little choked up during his opening remarks. The Frisco community should look forward to Martin’s time in the Texas League. It should be a lot of fun to watch.
- Another thing that will be interesting to watch is the ‘Riders’ outfield once Engel Beltre returns from his 15-game suspension Friday. We don’t know how Frisco manager Steve Buechele will put those two in the order and in the outfield, but it will be something to monitor.
- Congratulations to reliever Mark Hamburger, who got the call up to Triple-A Round Rock for the first time of his career. Hamburger was 1-0 with a 1.83 earned run average in 11 appearances out of the Frisco ‘pen. He was the team leader with four saves.
- Back with the ‘Riders is fellow reliever Chris Mobley. Mobley, who ended up starting the season with the Express even though he broke spring training with the ‘Riders, was very solid in his time with Round Rock. The right-hander was 2-0 with a 3.48 ERA. Opponents hit just .194 against him in his 20.2 innings of work.
- Being new to the area, I had not been to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington before. It was a really impressive park, and I enjoyed my time there. Looking forward to catching a game there at some point this summer.
- Finally, I had the pleasure of meeting Rangers play-by-play broadcaster Eric Nadel while at the press conference today. What was most impressive to me was the fact that he was fluent in Spanish. He carried a conversation with Martin after the presser. I asked him how long he has been working on his Spanish, and he said since 1990. He seemed like he knew his stuff. But who I am kidding, I couldn’t understand what he was saying.
Enjoy your Wednesday night. We’ll talk to you again tomorrow for the lid-lifter of an eight-game home stand.