It doesn’t matter if J.D. Martinez bats third or fourth in the Boston Red Sox lineup, he always seems to put up solid numbers.
The slugger has played in 109 games for Boston this season, 54 of which from the No. 3 spot and the remaining 65 as the clean-up hitter and the results are quite similar. He’s posted 17 home runs and a .338 average from the three hole and 21 home runs with a .327 average in the four spot.
But Martinez doesn’t have a preference as to where he bats in the order, just as long as he can visualize the bases being empty.
“I always say I suck when I come up and I know there are guys on base, if that makes sense,” Martinez said, per The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey. “If I come up and I feel like there’s nobody on base and I treat it like bases empty that’s when I’m at my best. It’s just mental really.”
For someone who leads Major League Baseball in RBIs, it’s certainly an interesting statement. But it without a doubt seems to be working for the 31-year-old, who noted his placement in the lineup benefits not just him, but his teammates as well.
“I just look at it as Alex (Cora) is doing the best he can to give everyone the best chance to succeed. I feel like his logic in putting me fourth is hoping we can get Mitch (Moreland) good pitches to hit, get-Mitch-going type deal, or Steve (Pearce),” Martinez said. “If you get those guys pitches to hit they’re pretty dangerous. So I don’t know, I feel like Alex moves pieces around to see if he can jumpstart the lineup a little bit.”
Martinez certainly has been a dangerous hitter in the Red Sox lineup this season, and judging by his numbers, he’s comfortable no matter where Cora puts him.
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