Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez joins elite company with 35 HR, 100 RBI season
By Sean Penney
J.D. Martinez has recorded his second consecutive season with 35+ home runs and 100+ RBI with the Boston Red Sox, placing him in elite company.
J.D. Martinez has been one of the best run producers in baseball over the last few years. Since joining the Boston Red Sox last season, his accomplishments at the plate have placed his name alongside some of the greatest hitters in franchise history.
Martinez delivered a base hit up the middle to drive in Mookie Betts in the fourth inning of Monday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. The RBI tallied in that at-bat was noteworthy for being Martinez’ 100th of the season to go along with his 35 home runs.
The All-Star slugger led the majors with 130 RBI last season and finished second with 43 homers. Martinez won’t reach either of those totals this season with the final week of the schedule winding down but his current totals put him in exclusive company.
Martinez is only the ninth Red Sox hitter ever to hit 35+ home runs and 100+ RBI in multiple seasons with the franchise.
David Ortiz leads the pack with seven 35 HR/100 RBI seasons. His former teammate, Manny Ramirez, did it five times and so did Jimmie Foxx. Jim Rice and Ted Williams both did it on four occasions while Mo Vaughn and Carl Yastrzemski did it three times. Tony Armas reached those totals in each of his first two seasons in a Red Sox uniform and now Martinez can say the same.
There have been 46 occasions where a Red Sox hitter has hit at least 35 homers in a single season. All but a few of those instances also included 100+ RBI. Only a select few have done it more than once though, particularly when you consider that 35 of the 46 have been accounted for by only nine hitters.
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This is the fourth time in Martinez’ career that he’s joined the 35/100 club and the third consecutive season, dating back to his 2017 campaign split between the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Martinez is currently batting .301 this season, putting him well within the range of his third consecutive season with a .300+ average. If he can keep his average from drifting below that mark, Martinez will be the 20th hitter in major league history to hit .300+ with 35+ home runs and 100+ RBI in three consecutive seasons. Albert Pujols was the last MLB hitter to do so (2008-2010).
Staying above .300 isn’t quite a lock for Martinez considering he’s hitting a mere .172 this month. Batting averages don’t fluctuate much this late in the season but his 1-for-4 performance last night cost him a point on his average. He’s now clinging to his .300+ average by a thread. An 0-for-4 night would drop him to .299 for the season. That doesn’t happen to Martinez very often but he’s gone without a hit in 4+ at-bats five times already during his September slump.
Martinez has the option to opt-out of his contract after this season, potentially making this his last season with the Red Sox. If he decides to stay, expect another season with at least 35 homers and 100 RBI. He’ll probably never catch Big Papi since he came to Boston so late in his career but if Martinez sticks around for the full five years on his deal, he’s got a shot to join Manny and Double X with the second-most 35/100 seasons in franchise history.