Fantasy Baseball: Will Red Sox DH J.D. Martinez Be A Bounce Back Fantasy Player This Year?


The Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez had a miserable 2020 season.  He slashed .213/.291/.389 while hitting seven home runs and driving in 27 RBIs.  Martinez was lost at the plate last season and looked like a complete shell of himself. 

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Last season, MLB took away teams and hitters ability to look at film during a game.  Martinez was outspoken to the new rule handed down by the league.  The Red Sox slugger would study his at-bats from the dugout and analyze his swings. 

Martinez was quoted by SI’s Tom Verducci last season on the suspension of video, “I think what people don’t get is there is a new generation that revolves around technology and analytics and seeing their swing.  To me, studying my swing and making changes, that’s what makes me who I am.  I got released doing it the other way.”

As the Fantasy owners prep for their drafts heading into next season, Martinez remains an interesting pick.  How does an owner pass on one of the premier hitters in baseball over the last few years based off a lackluster 2020 season?

Martinez has looked rough this spring.  He is 9-for-37 which is a .243 average, slash line of .293/.297/.590, no home runs, two doubles, three RBIs, three walks and 13 strikeouts. 

In the words of Kevin McCallister from Home Alone, “Buzz, your girlfriend! Woof!”

While it’s only Spring Training and it’s not about statistics for these players but about getting ready for the season.  Martinez is trying to work out the bad habits in his swing for the regular season. 

His ADP is 91, so getting Martinez late in a draft could be a steal and a bargain.  The concern is whether 2020 was an anomaly for the slugger or a sign of things to come.  FantasyPros projects Martinez to hit .275 with 30 home runs and 95 RBI.  The Red Sox will need that if they intend to be competitive this season. 

From a fantasy perspective, Martinez scares me.  Last season was worrisome because he failed to make adjustments.  He's typically been a poor Spring Training hitter, but his numbers are a cause for concern due to last season.  He only qualifies at Utility so there is no value in his stick while he continues to show signs of regress and struggles. 

If advanced metrics gets your rocks off, Martinez saw a steady decline in exit velocity by almost two miles per hour.  His strikeout rate increased, hard hit ball decreased, and walk rate fell too. 

Last season is a small sample size and many players struggled.  Martinez worked hard this offseason with hitting coaches to get back to his normal form.  If Martinez is still sitting there around 90-100, he’s worth snagging.  There’s concern he’ll continue to regress heading into 2021 and that scares me.  I would seek production and versatility elsewhere. 

Follow Chris on Twitter @chrishenrique

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Fantasy Baseball: Will Red Sox DH J.D. Martinez Be A Bounce Back Fantasy Player This Year?
Fantasy Baseball: Will Red Sox DH J.D. Martinez Be A Bounce Back Fantasy Player This Year?
Boston Sports Syndicate
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