The Cleveland Indians may have a lot of question marks in their outfield, but Leonys Martin is starting to play like an everyday starter.
It’s important not to get too excited over Spring Training numbers. For the Cleveland Indians, it’s a time to get a good idea of how things will shake up for the holes on their roster. Whatever holes the roster may have, Leonys Martin is making a strong case to make the roster no matter what.
Even though he only played just 6 games with the Tribe in 2018, Martin has really impressed since coming to Cleveland. His comeback story was already inspiring enough, but now he’s opening eyes for Tribe fans and media as he’s been lighting it up this spring.
Martin has been one of the best players so far in the Cactus League. He’s batting .500 in 16 at-bats with three RBI and two homers. In a time when the Indians are questioning who should be in the outfield, Martin is emerging as a prime candidate to play in center or left field.
Martin had somewhat of a resurgent year in 2018. After several down years since 2015, he picked things up while playing in Detroit.
He brought his batting average back up and hit 11 homers, the second most in his career. He’s never really been an “All-Star caliber” guy. But Martin is capable of providing the Indians a consistent bat in the back-end of the lineup.
Steamer actually projects Martin to be a 38 RBI guy with a .248 batting average. He is projected to have a 25% strikeout rate but that seems a little high considering he hasn’t been that bad with strikeouts at any point in his career.
It’s a little hard to predict if this stretch that Martin is on will continue. Tempering expectations during Spring Training can be hard to do. We all know how last year went for Jason Kipnis despite a red-hot Cactus League stretch.
Leonys will have to play some of his best baseball to fully contribute to the Indians. They need guys like Martin, Tyler Naquin, Roberto Perez, and Greg Allen to step up in the bottom of the order. Fortunately, Leonys Martin seems up to the task.