Texas Rangers

June 15, 2014

Leonys Martin hopes for permanent stay in Rangers’ leadoff spot

The center fielder said that he feels comfortable batting first and can do the job.

Leonys Martin found himself atop the Texas Rangers’ lineup Sunday for a second consecutive game, some 14 hours after he delivered the game-winning hit in a 4-3 victory late Saturday.

Martin badly wants to be the Rangers’ leadoff man. He said that he has been there throughout his career and that he doesn’t change his approach when moved up from the bottom of the order.

He knows what he’s doing, he said.

“I feel comfortable,” Martin said. “I stay with the same approach. I can read the pitcher a lot better. I try to get on base and take as many pitches as I can. I want to stay there and play hard for my team. I like leading off.”

At the very least, it appears as though the left-handed hitter will batting first against right-handed starters. Martin might also get some lefties, but the right-handed-hitting Michael Choice could be leading off the next two games against Oakland lefties Drew Pomeranz and Tommy Milone.

Martin has the speed of a prototypical leadoff man, but he hasn’t been a hitter who sees a lot of pitches.

“I’m not going to say, ‘Take pitches,’ “ manager Ron Washington said. “If he sees something he likes, put a good swing on it. Down in the lineup, he was slashing at everything. We’ll see how it goes.”

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