The Boston Red Sox landed the biggest fish in the free-agent pond this past winter, and their investment has paid off even more so than they likely could have expected.

J.D. Martinez has exceeded expectations thus far in his first season with the Red Sox. Not only has the veteran slugger been a dominant force in the middle of Boston’s lineup, his hitting expertise has become of great value to his teammates.

One of whom is Mookie Betts, who joined Martinez as one of the five Red Sox named to this year’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game. While Betts was a proven superstar prior to Martinez’s arrival in Boston, the 25-year-old has managed to improve his game thanks in part to his new teammate

“Just the way he prepares,” Betts said of Martinez in an interview with ESPN. “He goes in every day, doesn’t matter if he was just 4-for-4 yesterday. He’s preparing today the same way he did yesterday. I think just how much he knows going into the game. It’s like you’re already ahead of everybody because you know what you need to do to succeed, and you know what you need to stay away from. I think his energy and how he rubs off on everybody is just something you can’t teach. It’s just something you love to be around. I couldn’t ask for anything more. He’s taught me so much this year. I ask him questions all the time, but sometimes I just sit back and watch, too, and learn that way. He’s affected me in a lot of ways.”

We have a feeling Betts isn’t the only member of the Red Sox who stands by these sentiments.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports