J.D. Martinez Reveals Key To Renewed Success After Tough 2020 Season

The DH looks like a different person this season compared to last


Apr 23, 2021

J.D. Martinez is looking more like himself this year.

The Boston Red Sox designated hitter simply did not look like himself during Major League Baseball’s abbreviated 2020 season. Martinez has returned to typical form, though, and is enjoying plenty of success in 2021.

So, what sparked this turnaround between seasons?

“I feel like I had my normal preparation (for 2021), you know?” Martinez told reporters Friday during his pregame press conference ahead of the Red Sox game against the Seattle Mariners. “(This year) I didn’t get my normal preparation and then stop for two months and then crank it up in three weeks. So, I definitely feel better. My body feels better. I feel stronger.”

Martinez was not the only player worried about the impact the shortened season would have on his body, either. He noted “a lot” of concern among his teammates about their ability to avoid injuries in both 2020 and 2021 due to the wonky start.

The Red Sox since have had time to warm up, but Martinez thinks the work players put in day-in and day-out oftentimes is underestimated.

“I mean, any time you just shut it down and then kind of ramp it up again — this game is very demanding,” Martinez said. “A lot of people think, ‘Oh, baseball. You just go stand out in the outfield and you get a ball hit to you once a game.’ But it’s that constant everyday grind. You know, there’s no other sport that plays every single day. And then, you know, when you’re kind of just sitting down and then a ball’s hit to you and you’re going zero to 100. You might be sitting in the outfield for literally 2 1/2 hours and then you’re expected to make this amazing catch just hit in the gap or something like that where the game depends on it. And if you don’t do it, you get criticized for it.

“So it’s just one of those things where baseball’s tough in that aspect. It’s kind of hard to prepare for. And I think when you have that kind of preparation and you have that long spring training where you can get everything going (and) get your legs underneath you — that’s why the coaches do what they do. They ease you in. Nobody comes in and plays nine (innings) right away. And I think you kind of saw that last year. Last year, it was like, ‘OK, we’ve got three weeks. We’ve got to go.'”

The Red Sox have a much different feel this year than last, and proper preparation certainly appears to have helped the team start things off hot.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
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