This list’s number one and two spots are basically 1A and 1B. But checking in here is J.D. Martinez, who completely changed the destiny of 2018.
After an offseason which felt like an eternity, following the 2017 season, J.D. finally agreed to terms with the Sox. Arriving late February of 2018, he signed a $110m deal that had an opt-out after two seasons. J.D. opted in after this season and will continue to be the David Ortiz of today’s Red Sox.
Martinez’s first season in Boston was nothing short of sensational. In the best year of his career, and one of the best hitting seasons that Fenway has seen in some time, J.D. helped the Red Sox cruise to a franchise-record 108-win regular season. He drove in 130 runs, which led the entire majors.
J.D’s 43 home runs gave the Sox that firepower they needed in the middle part of the order, and he became that clean-up hitter that Red Sox Nation has been craving to take over from Big Papi. He finished 4th in the AL MVP race, with teammate Mookie Betts taking the top spot. He also won the Silver Slugger Awards for the left-field position and designated hitter positions.
J.D. became an All-Star for the third time in his career this past season, in what was a very disappointing season for the Sox. There were ups and downs on a personal level for Martinez, but he tallied triple figures in RBI for the fourth time in his career with 105.
2020 will be a big year for this team and Martinez will have to continue to be that leading bat in the heart of this line-up.