Boston Red Sox outfielder/designated hitter J.D. Martinez has been named the American League Player of the Month for August.
J.D. Martinez‘ first season with the Boston Red Sox has been the best of his career and it keeps getting better. He took his outstanding production to another level in the month of August, earning him AL Player of the Month honors.
Martinez hit a blistering .373/.453/.686/1.139 with seven home runs, 25 RBI and 24 runs scored in August. He even tacked on a pair of stolen bases just to stay in shape.
The batting average, on-base percentage, OPS, and runs scored were higher than Martinez has produced in any other month this season. He also set season-highs with 11 doubles and 14 walks. His RBI total ties what he tallied in May for the most in any month this season and his home run total trails only the 13 he blasted in May.
The Triple Crown watch is in full effect. Martinez has a comfortable lead with 115 RBI this season. His .336 batting average trails only teammate Mookie Betts (.338). Martinez briefly took the lead in the batting title race during his scorching month of August until Betts broke out a mild slump to surpass him last week. Martinz is up to 39 home runs, one behind Oakland’s Khris Davis.
Martinez ranks 7th in the league with 6.0 WAR this season. His primary duties as a designated hitter prevent him from adding value in the field. His WAR actually takes a bit of a hit for the games he does play in the outfield due to his below-average defense. He’s not the five-tool player that his MVP competitors are but there’s no doubt that he’s the game’s most prolific hitter.
Martinez has been consistently outstanding in every month this season yet this is surprisingly the first time this year he’s been awarded Player of the Month honors. The Cleveland Indians duo of Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor – the primary competition for Martinez and Betts in the MVP race – won the award in two of the previous three months.
This marks the second time in his career that Martinez has been named Player of the Month. He was the National League recipient in September 2017 when his torrid finish pushed the Arizona Diamondbacks into the postseason. Martinez hit .395/.431/.950 with 16 home runs and 36 RBI that month. His amazing finish played a significant factor in convincing the Red Sox to make Martinez their top target in free agency last winter.
He hasn’t quite repeated that magical month of September but the Red Sox certainly won’t complain about the production from their prized free agent acquisition. Martinez has been worth every cent of his contract.