J.D. Martinez was an absolute force last season for the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks, so what should we expect now that the slugger has signed a five-year contract with the Boston Red Sox?
More of the same, of course.
“I’m expecting hopefully to do a lot of damage,” Martinez told reporters Monday during his introductory news conference at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla. “That’s the game plan coming in.
“But as far as the Red Sox lineup goes, it’s a strong lineup, it’s a good lineup. I’ve been looking at them, checking them out, obviously playing against them in Detroit. They’re guys with a lot of speed, guys who get on base, guys who really move around the bags and produce runs very quickly, and I’m happy to be a part of that now.”
Martinez is coming off a 2017 season in which he hit .303 with 45 home runs, 104 RBIs and a 1.066 OPS in 119 games. It marked Martinez’s fourth consecutive season with at least 22 home runs — the 45 homers topped his previous career high of 38 from 2015 — and his .574 slugging percentage since the start of 2014 ranks second in Major League Baseball behind only Mike Trout (.579).
No matter how you slice it, Martinez figures to be a game-changer in the middle of Boston’s lineup. And the Red Sox sure need the power after finishing last in the American League in home runs last season with just 168.
So yes, more of the same “damage” will do just fine.
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