For the longest time, Texas has been stockpiling international bonus pool money to snag once-in-a-lifetime player Shohei Ohtani.
When that didn’t work out, they set their sights on Cuban center fielder Julio Pablo Martinez, a 5-foot, 10-inch offensive machine, who they just signed for $2.8 million.
Martinez has shown the ability to hit for average and for power, and play at a high level at a premium defensive position, something this Rangers front office has historically overlooked.
A rarity on the Rangers, especially in the last few seasons, Martinez walked (fifty-two times) more than he struck out (thirty times) last year in the Cuban League. Here are his stats according to baseball-reference.com.
The left-handed hitting Martinez is 21, and is expected to start the season in Class A or Double-A. This is the first Cuban center fielder the Rangers have signed since Leonys Martin in 2011, a one-tool player who had a cannon for an arm and not much else, showing an inability to hit major league pitching.
Because of misinformation Martinez provided to MLB, he comes into the league owing $100,000 in fines.
He is a great addition to the Rangers system on paper, if not all that adept with paperwork.