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Leonys Martin will bat leadoff for the Rangers, giving a sizeable boost to his fantasy value

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

According to Gerry Fraley of The Dallas Morning News, Rangers manager Jeff Banister has decided to use Leonys Martin as their full time leadoff hitter. This gives a sizable boost to Martin's fantasy value. Firstly, Martin will have better clearance ahead of him on the base paths, giving him more room to steal bases. Martin received 412 of his of his 583 PA batting between 5th and 8th in the Rangers lineup last season, which made it more likely that a slower batter would be on base ahead of him when Martin reached base, limiting his base stealing opportunities.

Secondly, the Rangers have some pretty good hitters batting directly behind Martin. Shin Soo Choo, Adrian Beltre and Prince Fielder, if healthy, are excellent run producers. Martin's run scoring totals will go up hitting leadoff.

Martin has a similar offensive profile to teammate Elvis Andrus in that he carries significantly more value in a standard league than a league that uses OPS. Martin, like Andrus, will likely have a below average OPS, but will have a high run scoring total, high stolen base total, and an above average batting average. I think Martin can be a top 100 player this year if he can stick in the leadoff spot all season. Your league rules will determine exactly how to value him, but I love the run scoring and stolen base potential.