Boston’s JD Martinez could have been a free agent this winter, but in hindsight he made the very smart decision not to opt out of his contract with the Red Sox. Here are two props available to wager at Mybookie on Martinez’s 2020 MLB season – assuming there is one – and an overview.
JD Martinez MLB Awards Odds & Analysis For 2020 Season
By choosing to remain with the Red Sox this offseason, Martinez can earn $62.5M over the next three years. He also has an opt-out clause after the 2020 season. It’s not expected that Martinez will take that opt-out either.
As a near full-time designated hitter on the wrong side of 30, Martinez and agent Scott Boras would have been taking a risk with the opt out. The market has not been kind to players with that profile in recent years. Frankly, Martinez not opting-out is what forced Boston to trade Mookie Betts to the Dodgers to cut payroll.
Martinez led the AL in total bases in 2018, a season where he spent much of the year battling with now-former teammate Betts for AL MVP honors. His 6.5 WAR in 2018 was the third-highest by a designated hitter in history.
Martinez, 32, had another dominant offensive season in 2019, hitting .304/.383/.557 with 36 home runs in 146 games. He has been one of the game’s top hitters since joining the Tigers and revamping his swing in 2014. Martinez owns a.307/.373/.581 batting line in nearly 3,500 plate appearances the last six years.
Since joining the Red Sox, Martinez leads MLB with 235 RBI and ranks 3rd in slugging (.594). He is the 9th Red Sox player ever to record 35+ HR and 100+ RBI in a season multiple times, joining David Ortiz (7x), Manny Ramirez (5x), Jimmie Foxx (5x), Jim Rice (4x), Ted Williams (4x), Mo Vaughn (3x), Carl Yastrzemski (3x), and Tony Armas (2x).
Last year, Martinez became only the 20th player in MLB history to hit .300+ with 35+ HR and 100+ RBI in as many as 3 straight seasons (most recent: Albert Pujols, 2008-10). He finished among the top 10 in the AL in OPS (5th, .942), OBP (6th, .383), SLG (6th, .559), total bases (7th, 319), HR (7th, 36), and RBI (8th, 105).
Martinez led the majors vs. lefty pitchers in HR (19), AVG (.404), OBP (.494), SLG (.887), and OPS (1.381). Among players with at least 100 plate appearances in a season against left-handed pitchers, his OPS was the 2nd-highest in the AL since at least 1974 (Jeff Bagwell-1.639 in 1994). Among Red Sox with at least 100 plate appearances against lefties in a season (since 1974), Martinez’s slugging percentage of .887 is the highest.
JD Martinez uses video extensively in his preparation, recording every swing during batting practice and routinely breaking down footage to check for irregularities in his swing. That practice played a major role in his success following his release from the Astros before the 2014 season. Thus, Martinez is worried that MLB may restrict in-game use of video to prevent sign-stealing.
“He said there are going to be some restrictions, but I think to go out there and take all video out and you’re not allowed to look at at-bats, I think, is a little ridiculous, in my opinion,” Martinez said. “All of these kids now, when I was in the minor leagues, Double-A, Triple-A, we had video systems. … You always go back and check something in your swing, and it helps you throughout the game. To all of a sudden take that away is a little extreme.”
Martinez’s impact goes beyond what he does at the plate. Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, and Betts developed into some of the best hitters in the game under the guidance of Martinez, who acts as an “extension of the hitting coach,” according to his teammates.