J.D. Martinez Named American League Player of the Month
Boston, MA - The massively successful season by J.D. Martinez has continued with yet another accolade for the star slugger in his first full year with the Boston Red Sox since signing with the team during free agency this offseason. Along with Justin Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League, Martinez has been named the Player of the Month for the American League.
Martinez put up historic numbers for a singular month of baseball during August and he did so rather quietly as teammate Mookie Betts slumped and Boston worked their way out of a late summer swoon. The thirty-one year old played in twenty-six games over the course of August and put up some pretty killer numbers. He powered his way to seven home runs and and twenty-five RBIs during the month as well as having a line of .373/.453/.686. According to advanced metrics, as well, Martinez's August was 199% better than the average player in baseball. This is worthy of Player of the Month honors, for sure.
Martinez made an excellent case for himself as an MVP candidate for the 2018 season, but he still has to contend with Cleveland's Jose Ramirez, Anaheim's Mike Trout, and, of course, Betts. Primarily considered the frontrunner in the American League, Betts has been putting up stellar numbers en route to one of the best offensive seasons of any outfielder in baseball history. However, as of late, Martinez has pulled within spitting distance of Mookie's achievements. Despite season stats of thirty-nine home runs, 115 RBIs, and a .336 batting average, Martinez still lacks Betts' value as an all-around player, which could hamper his MVP chances.
Conversely, Martinez could be buoyed in the MVP race by his proximity to the Triple Crown. One home run behind Khris Davis and leading the league in RBIs, Martinez's top competitor in batting average is, of course, Betts. Becoming the first Triple Crown winner since 2012's Miguel Cabrera would certainly be helpful for the case J.D. has to be named league MVP. For now, Player of the Month will be enough.