Opinion

J.D. Martinez: Worth it

J.D. Martinez has been worth every penny of the paychecks the Red Sox have already cut him.

Featured image courtesy of Zimbio.com: (May 13, 2018 – Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America)
(Photo Credit: May 13, 2018 – Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America, retrieved from Zimbio.com)

There was a lot of talk this offseason about J.D. Martinez. Was he going to be a fit for Fenway? Was his 45 home runs a fluke in a contract year? Most importantly, did he have the character to make it in Boston?

That last question? All signs pointed to “no” before he signed his deal to make him $100 million richer.

If you recall, there were reports in February about how J.D. Martinez was fed up with the way the negotiations had been handled. He did not seem to like the inflexibility of the Red Sox, basically meaning that he was upset they would not pay him more money.

Scott Boras, his agent, said that J.D. Martinez never made such comments, but the damage had been done.

The media in Boston said that J.D. Martinez did not want to be here. He didn’t want to be in Boston, so why should Boston want him? He was outright released just 4 years ago, and we are now to believe that he is some sort of slugger? A guy who can solidify the middle of the order? He’s a flash in the pan! He cannot hack it here!

Man, that seems like a life time ago.

Martinez has answered the bell at every occasion so far. He has not had anything out of the ordinary happen off the field (David Price, anyone?) and for the most part, he has just kept quiet and become a monster at the plate.

Let’s look at some stats for this guy.

His slash line is .343/.397/.680 through 45 games. He’s hit 15 home runs, driven in 41 guys, and has an OPS of 1.077. If it weren’t for Mookie Betts, the right-handed slugger would be the best hitter on the team by far.

It’s more impressive when you look where he ranks in the MLB in stat categories. His batting average is 3rd which puts him behind Mookie Betts and Odubel Herrera of the Philadelphia Phillies. His OPS is 2nd only to Mookie Betts, and they are both just ahead of Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels. He is also 2nd in the league in RBIs, right behind Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles. He is tied for 1st with Betts for home runs as well.

No matter how you slice JDM’s season, he is having a really good one. His .405 BABIP suggests there might be a regression coming, but there’s no reason not to ride the wave.

The early returns on J.D. Martinez seem to be a win for the Red Sox. It is a great thing to see after the more recent big name free agent signings like Carl Crawford and Pablo Sandoval being complete disasters. Martinez studies the game and only wants to become better (has anyone seen that notebook he keeps?).

Failure doesn’t seem to be an option for him, and it’s a welcome site when you just handed him a pretty good pay day.

J.D. Martinez has arrived in Boston, and he is making his presence known every day. He’s the middle of the order bat the Red Sox desperately needed, and even better? He seems to fit just fine in the city of Boston.

 

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