J.D. Martinez has played for four teams in the major leagues since 2011, and this seems genuinely odd, given his talent.
One of the best pure power hitters, Martinez leads the majors in home runs with 37, runs batted in with 104 and base hits with 145.
In last Sunday’s 4-1 win by Boston over Baltimore at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Martinez, who plays left field and is a two-time All-Star, finished with two doubles and raised his batting average to .333.
In Saturday’s doubleheader sweep, Martinez bashed a solo shot and a two-run bomb as the Red Sox won 6-4 in the second game.
In the opening game, Martinez went hitless as Boston whitewashed the Orioles 5-0.
In Friday’s 19-12 shellacking, Martinez had a double and a single and scored two runs and drove in two.
Martinez’s offense has made him a frontrunner for the American League Most Valuable Player trophy and has helped the Red Sox to the best overall record in baseball at 85-35, nine and a half games ahead of the New York Yankees (74-43) in the AL East.
Though Boston’s record is impressive, it must also be noted that many teams in the AL East are weak including Baltimore, the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays.
Martinez, who was born in Miami, Florida and is of Cuban descent, came to the majors in 2011 after being selected in the 20th round by Houston in 2009.
Martinez played with the Astros until 2013 and averaged eight homers and 42 RBIs.
Beginning in 2014 and continuing through 2017, Martinez, who played for the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks, hit 23, 38, 22 and 45 homers while knocking in 76, 102, 68 and 104 runs.
Martinez signed as a free agent with the Red Sox just before the start of the season and has been an integral part of Boston’s potent offense.
The Red Sox are playing at a .706 winning percentage and are on pace to win 115 games.
Boston ended its 86-year drought of not winning the World Series in 2004 when it swept the St. Louis Cardinals.
Since then the Red Sox have added titles in 2007 and 2013 and are one of the favorites to come away with another championship.
The playoffs are a fickle lot and even when a team has won many games during the regular season, there is no guarantee that a championship banner is going to be hung.
At the very least, Martinez has done his best to put the Red Sox in position to celebrate in October.
Rick Assad has written about sports for the Pasadena Star-News and Los Angeles Times. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.