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Credit: J.Burkett, 105.3 The Fan

Rangers Officially Sign Free Agent OF Julio Pablo Martinez

April 19, 2018 - 3:27 pm

DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) - After nearly two months of speculation, the Texas Rangers have announced that they have officially signed free agent outfielder Julio Pablo Martinez.

Martinez, a Cuban native, became eligible to sign with Texas after being granted free agency status in late February. 

Martinez has been linked to the Rangers since Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reported that the club was in the lead for his services. 

According to Baseball America, Martinez is now the Rangers' third-best prospect and is ranked as the 70th-best prospect overall. 

The 22-year-old has spent the past two seasons in the independent Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball, first, with a traveling Cuban National team in 2016, and then with Trois-Rivieres last season. With Trois-Rivieres, Martinez batted .297/345/.449/.794 with 7 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 57 games.

The left-handed hitter debuted in Cuba’s Serie Nacional in 2012, joining Jose Abreu, Aledmys Diaz, and Jose Iglesias as the only Cuban-born players in Major League Baseball to debut in Cuba at age 16.

He appeared in nearly 300 games during his five seasons in the league, compiling a .293/.393/.430/.823 slash line. In his final season in 2016-17 with Guantanamo and Camaguey, Martinez combined to bat .333/.469/.498/.967 with 6 home runs and 24 stolen bases in 61 games. He also totaled 52 walks with just 30 strikeouts during the campaign.