J.D. Martinez: The Power is Real


Jul 5, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder

J.D. Martinez

(28) at bat against the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Every player is due for a breakout season. Player A is chugging along early in their career. They were impressive in spots, but not reliable enough to own throughout the season. Then, out of nowhere, everything clicks and the stats are off the charts. But what happens with it happens twice to the same player? This is what is happening to the Detroit Tigers‘ outfielder J.D. Martinez.

Martinez spent three years with the Houston Astros before being signed to a minor-league deal by the Tigers in 2004. After hitting 10 home runs with 22 runs batted in over his first 17 games in Triple-A, he was called up and played his first game on April 21. 

More from FanSided

His first season with the Tigers could not have been planned any better. In his three years with the Astros, he hit a combined 24 home runs with a .251 batting average. In his first year in Detroit, Martinez hit 23 home runs with a .315 batting average.

What caused this change? Was it due to the power bats in Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez? Was it the move to the AL Central? I don’t know. But what I know is Martinez was becoming another dangerous hitter in the already-dangerous Tigers lineup.

One year later and Martinez is still crushing the ball. This season proves that last year was not a fluke and this is who J.D. Martinez is. He hit a home run on Opening Day. In 81 games this season, he has 24 home runs, 58 RBI and a .289/.345/.572 line. In 42 fewer games, he already surpassed his 2014 home run total.

On June 21, he hit three home runs and six RBI against the New York Yankees. He was the first Tigers hitter to hit three home runs in a game since Carlos Pena. Martinez has hit four home runs and 10 RBI already in July.

With the injury to Cabrera, the Tigers have slotted Martinez in the cleanup spot. This transition could take J.D Martinez to even greater heights than the move to Detroit did.

More from Fantasy Baseball

To compliment the power, Martinez is hitting for average, too. He had a .216 average back on May 8. Since then, he raised it up to .289. Of the top-six home run hitters, Martinez has the second-highest batting average. That kind of combination is very valuable in fantasy baseball, regardless of your league format.

J.D. Martinez turns 28 in August, so the future is very bright for him and the Tigers. He is quickly creeping up the early 2016 ranks. He is ranked 11th on ESPN’s Player Rater among all hitters, and fifth among outfielders.

Unless there is an extreme drop-off, Martinez’s stock will continue to rise. With Bryce Harper and Mike Trout getting the most love among outfielders, J.D. Martinez is wrongfully being overshadowed. He should be a top-50 pick next season.