Would a J.D. Martinez comeback be enough for MVP?
What a difference a year makes and enough fans were hoping that J.D. Martinez would opt-out and test the market. Examining the designated hitter for 2020 and Martinez apparently did opt-out of production. That wooden bat of 2018 and 2019 suddenly became a rubber bat and a dismal -0.9 bWAR with a .213 batting average, so let’s go back to 2019.
In 2019 Martinez slashed .304/.383/.557 with 36 home runs and 105 RBI and that was a downer when compared to 2018. Since 2014 the expectations are a .300 batting average, 40+ home runs, and 100+ RBI from the right-hand power hitter. Martinez to make an MVP name for himself has to do it with his bat since defensively he plays about as well as I can do a ballet arabesque.
Baseball history is loaded with players who mysteriously saw their talent vaporize at a relatively young baseball age and Martinez is just 33-years-old. Was it a hidden injury? The loss of his instant access i-pad? Whatever it was the Red Sox have a desperate need for Martinez to find his stats circa 2014-2019 or they’ll have a hole in the lineup you can drive a freight train through.
Being a DH makes an MVP award a near impossibility – David Ortiz could and should have had a few, but there is most certainly an ingrained prejudice about a DH being a one-trick pony. If Martinez gets on track the chances are he’ll get the award no player wants – Comeback of the Year. However, if the J.D. of 2018 makes his way back to Fenway Park in 2021 we vary well may see him make some waves come voting time.