One of the most amazing things about this year's version of Leonys Martin is how far under the radar he's flown for how well he's played. Remember, the Cuban outfielder was once a top-80 prospect who hit .359/.42/.610 over 55 gmes in Triple-A at age 24; there was a lot to love here. Martin never developed into anything more than a one-dimensional speedster in the Rangers organization, but his time in Texas isn't the end of his story. Indeed, he's found new life in Seattle, of all places, perhaps taking his cues from the powerful Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano to become a much more authoritative hitter. After homering yet again Tuesday, Martin already owns a new career high in that category (nine), and he's currently on an eight-game hitting streak in which he's hitting a cool .500 (14-for-28) with four homers. The speed's still there, too – he's swiped seven bags.
Of course, savvy fantasy owners look at that 21.4 percent HR/FB rate and rightly ask, "Hey, is that sustainable?" Well, perhaps not entirely, but Martin has elevated his fly-ball rate and his hard-hit rate dramatically this year – as in, more than 10 percent each compared to his career norms – and the best plate discipline of his career is just icing on the cake. Buy the breakout.
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