It may be early in the season, but Boston Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez is proving to both players and fans that his 2020 was a fluke. Martinez, 33, is currently sporting a .533 batting average and a 1.721 OPS, after going 2-3 with a home run in last night’s victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
JD Martinez has 8 hits, 6 RBIs and 2 homers already in just 4 games. He’s back and the Red Sox are good again. pic.twitter.com/oXsaxVlSLq
— Jordan Moore (@iJordanMoore) April 6, 2021
Now granted, it has only been four games, but last season was so rough for Martinez that were questions as to whether or not the 3-time all-star would return to form. I mean, after hitting .213 in 54 games in 2020, it is understandable that questions began to be asked.
From 2014 to 2019, Martinez averaged 34 homers, 98 RBIs, and a .307/.373/.954 split in 136 games. Obviously Martinez wasn’t given the chance to play that same amount of games in 2020, but him dropping his batting average by almost a whole .100 over the span of year had to be nerve-racking to the Red Sox and their fans.
But luckily for Boston, Martinez looks like he is back in the form he was in for his first two seasons with the Sox. A great hitter that’s presence in the middle of the lineup is hard to come by.
Still, what happened in 2020 that made Martinez fall-off to the extent he did? Could it have been that Alex Cora was no longer at the helm? Did the pandemic have a huge impact of Martinez’s mental health? Maybe so, but the most likely factor is that the DH had to go without in-game video all of last year.
JD Martinez says access to in-game video has already had “a lot” of benefit for him. “It’s definitely cooled my anxiety,” and has allowed him to make adjustments at-bat to at-bat.
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) April 5, 2021
With that back 2021, Martinez is set up to have another monster season and regain his form as the hitter that opposing pitchers have feared since 2014.
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– Jarrod Ribaudo (@jarrod_ribaudo on Twitter)
Featured image courtesy of Twitter / @NBCSBoston