J.D. Martinez: Redemption in Detroit

Typically, being released from one of the worst teams in baseball does not bode well for the future of your career. J.D. Martinez put up a .251/.300/.387 slashline through 975 plate appearances over the past 3 seasons with the Houston Astros before they released him in spring training on March 22. Two days later, the Detroit Tigers signed Martinez to a minor league contract. With minimal expectations for Martinez and thinking that perhaps he was brought up too early by a team that was struggling to bring in major league talent, the Tigers sent him to AAA Toledo to start the season.

Martinez exploded onto the scene in Toledo, hitting 10 home runs with a .308/.366/.846 slashline through April 19th. By April 21, he was making his first appearance for the Tigers, recording a pinch hit walk. The next day, he would start in left field, going 1-for-4 with a walk, run, and stolen base. Martinez would go on to get the short end of a platooning situation with outfielders Don Kelly, Rajai Davis, Torii Hunter, and Austin Jackson.

With the limited time, Martinez produced splendidly for the Tigers, hitting with a .300/.333/.570 slashline through 108 plate appearances. Lately however, J.D. has taken his game to another level. Entering today on a 9 game hitting streak, he is making a serious argument to stay in the line-up every day…

Last 9 Games
PA AVG OBP SLUG OPS H 2B HR RBI
1. J. D. Martinez 35 .412 .400 .794 1.194 14 4 3 8

Now it may not be a big enough sample size to say that this is the new J.D. Martinez, but it appears that he has saved his career for the time being. Take a look at the difference in production with these heat maps from his days in Houston and this year with Detroit…

jd martinez astros

J.D Martinez Tigers

  • Paddy Seay

    I hope he doesn’t fall back.