ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Cuban outfielder Julio Pablo Martinez has signed as an international free agent with the Texas Rangers, and will make his debut for the organization in the Dominican Summer League.
The Rangers announced the signing of the 22-year-old Martinez on Thursday, more than four months after he held an open tryout for all teams and about six weeks after he could sign with an MLB team.
Martinez debuted with the Cuban national league at age 16, and hit .293 over five seasons. In his final season with Guantanamo and Camaguey, the speedy left-hander hit .333 with six homers and 24 stolen bases in 61 games. He had 52 walks and 30 strikeouts.
On a conference call, the 5-foot-10 Martinez said through a translator that his goal is to be in the major leagues within three years.
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