The 2020 season was one to forget for Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez. He finished the season with a .213 batting average, which was 17th worst in the majors. He also posted a dreadful .291 on-base percentage. Martinez claimed the craziness of the shortened Covid season led to bad habits in his swing which contributed to his abysmal 2020 campaign.
During a March interview with WEEI, J.D. said “I went back and looked at my swings [from spring training] and they were completely different in our summer camp. A lot of that was when I went home and the doctors were freaking me out because I have bad asthma and with the whole Covid thing… I think I got into some bad habits during that time”.
J.D. went on to express his eagerness to get back on the diamond for the 2021 season, along with the added chip he has on his shoulder heading into the new season. “I just want it to be a normal season. I’m tired of being judged on two months”.
It was important J.D. hit the ground running to start the 2021 season, so he didn’t develop the bad habits from 2020 again. And so far in the 12 games he has played this season, Martinez seems to have figured out his swing. Martinez has been at the forefront of the high-powered Red Sox offense so for this season, leading the way with a .367 batting average and a league-high 17 RBIs. Martinez has 18 hits on the season so far, 12 of which have been for extra bases. Martinez also has a league-high seven doubles on the young season and is tied for third in the league with 5 home runs.
Martinez has stepped up in a big way for the Red Sox this season, as his bat is a big reason the Red Sox currently sit at 10-4 and in first place in the AL East. Martinez has been one of the hottest players in baseball to start the 2021 season, a start the slugger needed coming off the shaky 2020 season.
It’s fair to say JD is out to silence his critics as he has his eyes set on his 4th All-Star appearance, and possibly a post-season return for the Red Sox.