The J.D. Martinez Effect
By James Kwon 3/8/2018
There seems to be a bit of a power surge in the AL East. While their rivals the Yankees acquired game changing players like Giancarlo Stanton in the offseason, the Red Sox brought in their own big free agent bat with J.D. Martinez, signing him to a five year, 110 million dollar deal.
The slugger, who spent time with the Tigers and Diamondbacks last year, is coming off a season with 45 home runs while maintaining a solid batting average of .303. His stellar offensive performance is a good omen for the Sox in 2018, as he will likely see most of his time as the team’s designated hitter. The move would push last year’s DH Hanley Ramirez to split first base duties with Mitch Moreland.
The singing came a little over two months after the Yankees had acquired Stanton from the Marlins, whose prolific hitting earned him last season’s national league MVP award. Though Martinez was not considered for that honor, Red Sox Radio Network play-by-play announcer Tim Neverett thinks that the new Sox signee will make all the difference for Alex Cora’s team.
“He had 45 home runs last year. Even if he has 30, that’s 30 home runs you didn’t have last year. That’s a lot. Could turn into 60, 65 runs,” said Neverett. “Having that thump in the middle of the order I think is going to help the guys around them.”
The Sox are in desperately in need of power, last year they had the fewest home runs in the American League. With Stanton joining a Yankees team that homered more than any other team in 2017, the Sox will need some serious thump from Martinez and will need his teammates to up the home run ante in order to keep pace.