J.D. Martinez has become one of Major League Baseball’s best hitters, and in hearing about his approach to hitting, it shouldn’t come as a surprise.
The Boston Red Sox’s new slugger saw a noticeable change in his offensive success once he altered what he did at the plate upon joining the Detroit Tigers in 2014. Not only does he work on his mechanics, but he also dedicates quite a bit of time to studying both his at-bats and what opposing pitchers are doing, as well. He detailed what that daily process is like to NBC Sports Boston’s Evan Drellich.
“Man, it literally starts from after the game,” Martinez said. “I get every at-bat sent to me from the game. I’ll go home, I’ll watch every at-bat, kind of break down the game, kind of see, OK, what did I do? Why’d I miss this pitch? Why’d I hit that pitch? OK, that’s — I see what’s wrong here. Like now I’m OK, I see what’s wrong. I see why I was able to hit that pitch hard … and why I fouled that one off. So it’s kind of one of those things where I’ll study my mechanics, analyze my swing, seeing what I have to work on the next day, look at my swing and say, ‘OK, this is what I want to work on, it’s a back hip, this is my elbow, whatever it might be.'”
Certainly a thorough process.
After he goes through what he did that game, he directs his attention to what the pitcher he’s facing next is doing.
“Then after that,” Martinez continued, “I want to look at the pitcher that day and see what he’s featuring, see what his stuff is. Then after that, it’s kinda go to bed and you know visualize in a sense of me facing that pitcher and what I’m trying to do off the pitcher and kind just go to bed thinking about that. Then it’s you know, on the way to to the park or before I come to the park, I’ll study film again, you know, looking at all his tendencies, looking at how he likes to get hitters out. Then come to the ballpark, now I have work on my swing, my mechanics and what I try to grind on. What I figured out that night from the video. Do that, during BP, you know, study the mechanics side of it again, try to really just get my body to do what I was planning on doing for that day. Then after that, it’s back to the pitcher again, and studying the pitcher right before the game starts. Really, then it’s just like the cycle starts over again the next day.”
It’s easy to see why the 30-year-old has found so much success once you get a look into just how much he dedicates to his craft. He has hit above .300 in three of his last four seasons while smashing 45 home runs in 2017.
Thumbnail photo via Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports Images
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