For the Boston Red Sox, 2021 has gotten off to a rough start. In the Red Sox first series of the season, they were outscored 18-5 as they were swept by the Baltimore Orioles. Although their offense was quiet, J.D. Martinez was one of the few bright spots. The veteran outfielder is coming off a down 2020 season but carried the Red Sox offense. As the Red Sox look to return to the playoffs, Martinez’s resurgence will be vital.
Last season Martinez hit a career-low .213 in 54 games. The thirty-three-year-old only hit seven home runs and struck out 57 times. As the Red Sox finished with their worst winning percentage since 1932, Martinez was left searching for answers. The Red Sox slugger, however, finished strong and has carried that momentum into 2021.
In the Red Sox first series, Martinez was impressive. Six of the Red Sox 15 hits belonged to Martinez and he was the only Red Sox player that had more than one run batted in. The veteran slugger’s power was also on full display as he had four extra-base hits. In a series that the Red Sox will not look back on fondly Martinez was able to get off to a hot start.
— Jamie Gatlin (@JamieGatlin17) April 4, 2021
Additionally, Martinez’s start placed him in unique company. He became the seventh player in franchise history to double in each of the first three games of the season. The former top prospect was able to flash the form that made him one of baseball’s most feared hitters. While the rest of the Red Sox offense is still rounding into form, Martinez’s play was an encouraging sign.
What to expect from Martinez in 2021
In 2020 Martinez struggled as he developed some bad habits with his swing and was less patient at the plate. Like many other players, he struggled to develop an altered routine in a season full of uncertainty. In the offseason, Martinez was able to work on his mechanics and showed up to spring training determined to show that last year was a fluke.
Although the Red Sox have only played three games, Martinez has shown that he is still capable of leading the offense. He is also hitting the ball to all fields which has made him one of baseball’s best hitters over the last seven years. After only recording seven multi-RBI games last season, Martinez already has one in the season’s first week.
The Red Sox are at their best when Martinez is in All-Star form. In the season’s first series, he showed that he still has plenty left in what could be a bounce-back year for the Red Sox slugger.