Texas Rangers’ rookie outfielder Jason Martin has been establishing his presence and asserting himself as a true blue Major Leaguer.
Despite his misleading .160 batting average, the 25-year-old’s been improving at the plate as he’s received more playing time. Martin hit a clutch, game-tying three-run bomb on Thursday night against the Mariners.
Malik Wright caught up with the rookie at Global Life Field.
Demarcus Evans and Jason Martin forced their way onto the Texas Rangers’ big league roster after dominating during their first few weeks of the minor league season.
Now, they’ll look to prove they belong after a few injuries will give them a chance at earning major playing time.
These two MLBbros will have to answer to high expectations from Rangers’ fans. Both were called up from Triple-A last week after the team lost pitcher Kyle Gibson and outfielder David Dahl.
Black Arm On The Rise
Evans literally started his career off with a bang in September of 2020. He gave up home run number 662 to the great Albert Pujols and then beaned fellow MLBbro Justin Upton in the head before retiring the sides. He didn’t give up another run that season in four total innings pitched.
So far this season, he’s duplicated his 2020 stats, allowing one run in his four innings of work, while his strikeouts have increased. And he will have many more innings pitched this season if he continues to deal.
Evans has been schooling his opponents since being drafted out of Petal High School in Petal, Mississippi in the 25th round of the 2015 draft.
He was named the Rangers 2018 minor league Reliever of the Year after going 4-1 with a 1.77 ERA while striking out 103 batters in just 56 innings for the Hickory Crawdads in Class A South Atlantic League.
In 2019, he was called up to Double-A to play for the Frisco Roughriders. There, he went 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA and 60 strikeouts in just under 38 innings. That earned him the 2019 MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Year award as well as winning the Rangers minor league Reliever of the Year award for the second season in a row.
Evans is an MLBbro that’s on the verge of breaking out.
Jason Martin Is Up Next
To keep it simple, if Jason Martin can hit, Rangers’ manager Chris Woodward will have no problem keeping him in the lineup. And really, Martin’s been mashing since Spring Training.
He continued to punish baseballs in the 15 games he spent in Triple-A Round Rock. Martin hit seven home runs and drove in 16 runs while having a .755 slugging percentage and.413 on base percentage.
Martin originally was drafted by the Rangers’ Silver Boot Rival Houston Astros in the 8th round of the 2013 MLB Draft. During the 2018 offseason, he was involved in the trade package that sent him and a few others to Pittsburgh in exchange for Gerrit Cole.
Jason made his Major League debut for the Pirates on April 5, 2019. He singled in his first career at-bat and with his performance in that game joined Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata as the only Pirates since 1948 to record a hit, a run and steal a base in their Major League debut.
After shoulder surgery held him to only appearing in seven games in 2020, Martin became a free agent and signed with the Rangers on December 14th, 2020. He recorded his first hit and stolen base of the season while pinch-hitting in the 8th inning of Sunday’s loss to the Seattle Mariners.
With Dahl out for the foreseeable future and Kris “Krush” Davis struggling early, Martin can earn a spot on a Rangers’ roster that is full of young yet unestablished talent.
Evans and Martin join California-born left fielder Willie Calhoun, flame-throwing reliever Taylor Hearn and Davis as MLBbros on the active roster for Texas.
You can watch them this week play a three-game set against interleague rivals, the Colorado Rockies.