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C Russell Martin aims to run in 2012
Players blow smoke, and reporters write it. Martin, 29, expects to get back to his thieving ways this coming season. While still a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, he swiped 21 bases in 2007 and 19 in 2008 before averaging about eight in each of the past three years.
Knee injuries, mostly, diminished the abilities of the New York Yankees' backstop at both the plate and on the base paths. He had surgery in December 2010 to fix the issue and in 2011 socked 18 homers, one short of his career high. Health restored at the dish, it would seem.
Martin claims that he feels more flexible and athletic now that he's working with a stable knee and has been able to spend a full winter getting into shape for the upcoming season. He attributes his conditioning to his offseason workout program filled with MMA training.
He apparently intended to test his rediscovered form early and often, too. In five spring games, Martin has stolen four bases. He's attempting to regain his feel for the art, but it also suggests that he has a very good chance of making good on his expectation.
The right-handed hitter sits in an attractive lineup and still has the ability to up his BA considering that his indicators were rock-solid in 2011 and yet his BABIP was .252, more than 40 points below his lifetime rate. Even if he scales back the home run output, he could make up the ground in batting average. He appears primed to add 15 thefts - or more - to his line. The possibilities suggest that he's undervalued this spring.
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570. Follow @NicholasMinnix
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