Cuban Prospect Leon’ys Martin Nears Free Agency

Leon'ys Martin is likely to be declared a free agent possibly as soon as this week, ESPN's Jorge Arangure (Twitter link) hears from Martin's agent, Bart Hernandez.  Arangure reports that Martin has been scouted by several teams over the last few months while he has been working out in Mexico, his home since defecting from Cuba last year.

Martin, 22, is a left-handed hitting outfielder "whose best tools are his speed and defense," according to Baseball America's John Manuel, who also notes that Martin had a .492 OBP during the 08-09 season in Cuba's top professional league and "showed at least average range" in center field.  Martin was a bench player for Cuba during the 2009 World Baseball Classic, picking up two hits in seven at-bats.

According to Arangure, Martin is "considered an elite prospect" who looks to earn more than Adeiny Hechavarria and Jose Iglesias, two other recent high-profile Cuban signings.  Hechavarria inked a four-year, $10MM contract with Toronto in April, while Iglesias signed a four-year, $8.25MM deal with Boston in July 2009.

Full Story | 38 Comments | Categories: Leonys Martin

38 Responses to Cuban Prospect Leon’ys Martin Nears Free Agency Leave a Reply

  1. jwsox 4 years ago

    kenny get on this…even if his obp drops to .400 its a solid pick up to replace juan pierre in left next season

  2. The Twins should consider signing him, even though they already have some ML depth at the position.

  3. BVHjays 4 years ago

    Calling it now… Blue Jays.

  4. Ian_Smell 4 years ago

    That’s a sweet name.

    • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      I’m still trying to figure out how to pronounce it.

  5. if he were 19 I’d be happy, but too me 22 is just too old. Unless he can show he’s already adjusted to American sports. But as a bench player in the WBC… I don’t think so.

    • LUWahooNatFan 4 years ago

      It’s not like he’s 27 or 28 years old.. If he isn’t ready for the big leagues put him in AA or AAA for a few years and maybe he makes the majors

    • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      “22 is just too old”

      I think that statement would seriously depress my father.

    • jayrig5 4 years ago

      So, any college senior who doesn’t immediately jump to the big leagues is a wasted draft pick,huh?

  6. Ferrariman 4 years ago

    he’s already 22…

  7. Everything about this screams Braves well except for the multi million dollar bonus…

  8. jwsox 4 years ago

    why is everyone reacting to his age so harshly…most players dont crack the majors let alone as a starter untill 24 or 25. 22 is young and its not like he is in his late 20’s

  9. grownice 4 years ago

    Blue Jays… 4 years 11 million, Just a guess.

  10. corey23 4 years ago

    There needs to be an international draft, or players should have to enter the amateur draft like college players.

    • raffish 4 years ago

      Nah. The free-agent approach allows for many teams to add talent to their systems. The draft is tipped heavily in favor of the big market clubs who can spend much more money and collect additional picks by trading for expensive type A/B players at the deadline.

  11. grownice 4 years ago

    Incase your too lazy to click the link 😉

    “Martin, whose age is listed as 22, left Cuba after playing for the country’s national team in Taiwan during the FISU World University Championships. He batted leadoff frequently for Cuba in that tournament, which is limited to players age 27 and under. He was on the 18U junior-national team in 2006 as well, so his age appears to be quite believable. As a 21-year-old, Martin was a reserve on the 2009 World Baseball Classic team.He’s a lefthanded hitter whose best tools are his speed and defense. He’s a plus runner at least, being timed in 4.1 seconds to first base from the left side in Taiwan, and showed strong small-ball skills, with the ability to drag bunt for hits and handle the bat on the hit-and-run. He also played center field and showed at least average range. Martin also hit .326 with 10 home runs in the last Serie Nacional, Cuba’s top-level league, while playing for Villa Clara, and has drawn plenty of walks in Cuba, posting a .311/.492/.491 line in 2008-2009, when he drew 78 bases on balls and ranked second in the league with 17 steals (in a 90-game season).”

  12. This has Royals written all over it…THANKS GIL MECHE!

  13. Ben Roth 4 years ago

    Dombrowski needs this. His record isnt great in signing foreign prospects (Wilkin Ramirez, Fu-Te Ni). They have been projected as plus major leaguers, but failed miserably… Great chance to partially redeem himself and add to the weak system.

  14. I saw Leonis Martin play when I lived in CUba and first I can assure that he really is 22. Second he is the big deal. This kid is as fast as Jacoby Ellsbury or perhaps faster. Has a great plate discipline ( something that you do not see in Cuba, being only second in this to the great Cepeda), played second base for a while and the whole outfield, has the potential to be a great lead off hitter. He may even developed some pop. In addition, he played in the Cuban bigs since he was 16 under Victor Mesa who is considered the best CF and leadoff hitter in Cuban Baseball.

    I think that he should be around the 10 Million mark, he is that good. Think Dustin Ackey but with an 80 speed and more expirence.

    • nestorpistor 4 years ago

      Are you his agent?

      • Nahh but I wish I was I would be making close to 1 Million with him!!!

        Im just a Cuban Baseball fan.

    • Ferrariman 4 years ago

      more experience? probably not. I trust professional US college ball more than i do Cuban national ball. Ackley also has a year in the minors under his belt.

      although that is a solid comparison from the general description.

      • Seriously?? Just to know, how far goes your knowledge of the cuban baseball league?
        Due to the fact that they don’t play with wood bats is enough argument to downgrade college ball. At least that is how i feel. The college numbers are always over inflated more for batters.

    • Guest 4 years ago

      So youre Canadian?

  15. billreef 4 years ago

    I’m glad we have Fredi and Carlos, the Braves Cuban connection. If only Bobby hadn’t fired Yunel because he couldn’t speak English.

    • WisBrave 4 years ago

      Bobby didn’t fire him because he couldn’t speak English. , the Braves traded him because he was an asss. Arguing with everyone on Bowmans blog not good enough for you any more, just stay off the Phils blog.
      Just messing with ya Bill.

  16. Cardinals need this guy. We really don’t have a future starting shortstop in our system. I doubt it happens though, because of his heavy price tag.

    • Ferrariman 4 years ago

      well we only have one first round pick in this year’s draft so maybe organization gets a little generous. I doubt it though.

    • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      It says he’s an outfielder.

  17. Cody 4 years ago

    The Red Sox won’t be in on him we have tons of OF depth in the minors. Plus we have Crawford and Jacoby that can play great D in CF. We will make an offer but doubt it will be anything close to what he will get.

  18. NatsFan1 4 years ago

    Nats have Livan, Y. Maya, and we’re in on Chapman. I think they have a good shot at him plus we don’t have any quality CF prospects in our upper minors.

  19. siromaniyon 4 years ago

    Youtube about his batting(World University Championship 2010 final at Tokyo)

  20. The Jays will sign him

  21. Yankee_Baal 4 years ago

    I’d say that only the Red Sox and Pirates aren’t great fix for him, and just because they have speedy top of the order guys for many years to come (unless Boston gets rid of Ellsbury next winter).

  22. A ton of LOCALIZED prospects. Leonys is coming off of playing a different game where they don’t even speak English!! He will need a small amount of EXTRA time to adjust is all I’m sayin.

    As we’ve seen with this kid, the boy can clearly play baseball though. And I guess some people (Ozzie Guillen :x) never really adjust… I still don’t think he’s worth 15 mil+!!

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