J.D. Martinez has had success against plenty of big league pitchers over the past few years, including a few of his now-teammates with the Boston Red Sox.
The Red Sox slugger has cemented himself as one of Major League Baseball’s toughest outs, winning battles against one pitcher after another. So hypothetically, if Martinez had just one at-bat and he needed to get a hit, which of his current teammates would he want to face?
The 30-year-old was asked that Wednesday afternoon on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni and Fauria,” and he begrudgingly gave an answer.
“That’s terrible. That’s terrible, I don’t know,” Martinez said while laughing at the question. “I don’t know, I’ve had success off several guys on our team. But I think if I had to pick one person, I’d probably go with — and (this is) strictly success-based because I don’t think he’s bad at all — would probably be Heater, (Heath) Hembree. Just because I have two hits off him, I faced him two times and I have two pretty hard hits off him.”
Indeed, Martinez’s two at-bats against Hembree have been productive. He is batting 1.000 off the reliever with a 4.000 OPS, drilling a home run off him in 2016 while also smacking a double in his other AB.
But he historically did torch Red Sox pitchers prior to coming to Boston, with Matt Barnes and Carson Smith being the only Sox pitchers he does not have hits against.
Meanwhile, he has three homers off Chris Sale and one off Rick Porcello, David Price and Joe Kelly in addition to Hembree.
All this is to say it’s probably a good thing the Red Sox locked Martinez up so he can stop shredding their pitching.