Not every prospect or acquisition lives up to expectations. The Texas Rangers know that, but they’re still kicking themselves over these 10 players.
Every franchise experiences them. A team places momentous stock in a player, expecting a significant impact either immediately or eventually, but they never get it. In sports, we deem the scenario a “bust.”
The Texas Rangers certainly are not immune to busts. The organization has had at least two handfuls of them just in the last decade, including one at the mercy of the top prospect in all of baseball, and another costing them nine figures for no return on investment.
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Prepare your mind for what could have been as we review the Rangers’ 10 most recent busts. We’ll countdown from least to most egregious.
The Rangers signed Martin as an international prospect from Cuba – a 5-year, $15 million deal with a $5 million signing bonus. He climbed to #6 on Texas’ top prospects list in 2011.
Martin had plenty of raw ability, including good speed and tremendous arm strength. He had the defensive makeup of an every-day big-league centerfielder. The question was could his bat evolve in congruence with his other lofty tools?
After sprinting through Double-A and notching an impressive .359/.422/.610 slash line at Triple-A in 2012, Martin was promoted to the Rangers. He played 147 games with Texas in 2013 and 155 games in 2014. That was his best campaign, as he hit .274 with a .325 OBP and 31 stolen bases.
Still, Martin struggled in crucial areas of the game. In four seasons with the Rangers, he failed to record an above-league-average OPS. He couldn’t leverage his speed with plate discipline either, drawing a walk every 17th plate appearance.
It became apparent that Martin’s bat could not keep up with major league pitching. His batting average dropped to .219 in 2015; he eventually lost the centerfield gig and the Rangers traded him to Seattle the following offseason.