Jun 25, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers outfielder Leonys Martin (2) collides with outfielder Joey Gallo (13) while making a catch in the fourth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Too Many Fly Balls
Martin has one incredibly valuable asset that a ton of players in the MLB don’t have and that is speed. In order to utilize that speed, you have to find a way to get on top of the ball and hit line drives and ground balls somewhere. So far in 2015, Martin hasn’t been able to do that.
According to Fangraphs, in 2014 Leonys Martin hit a line drive 21.9% of the time, 50.3% of the time he hit a ground ball, and 27.8% of the time he hit a fly ball. In 2015, Martin’s numbers paint a much different picture. Only 14.8% of the time he is hitting a line drive, 52.2% of the time he is hitting a ground ball, and 33% of the time he is hitting a popup. Two things I really want you guys to pay attention to here. One, he is hitting a line drive 7% less of the time then he did last year and that is certainly a problem. Two, 5% of those balls are turning into fly balls as he has hit a fly ball 5% more this year than he did last year. That wouldn’t necessarily be a problem if Martin was a power hitter, but when you have an incredible asset like he does in his speed, you’ve got to find a way to hit it on the ground more.
Martin is going to have a chance in Triple-A to go down and get some consistent at-bats and I hope that he really focuses on driving down on the baseball again. Hitting line drives more consistently in its own will lead to more base hits, but so will putting the ball on the ground and letting his speed take care of the rest from there.
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