J.D. Martinez is emerging as a team leader

Robert Bouffard - Contributing Writer
Photo Courtesy of Charles Krupa, AP

Is there anything J.D. Martinez can’t do? Recent articles and reports have discussed how he is becoming a more vocal leader in the Red Sox clubhouse.

As Martinez is in the midst of a great season in which he’s among the league leaders in most offensive categories, much has been made of the help he’s brought to the team on that side of the ball. Just based on the fact that he’s the power hitting offensive anchor the team was missing last season, he’s earned every dollar they’re paying him so far.

But the other hole on the team that needed to be filled last season was that of a clear team leader. There were many good players on the team, but most of them were either still very young or not interested in stepping up.

This season, with Dustin Pedroia having missed most of the year, Martinez is emerging.

“As far as leadership, I like to share my information," Martinez told WEEI.com.

He’s been sharing his information with the young Red Sox stars, including even Mookie Betts. Betts has always had power, but before he missed time due to injury, he and Martinez went back and forth in taking the league lead in homeruns from each other. This is due in part from the conversations that the two have shared.

"A lot if it’s the same swing, obviously I have [coaches] Timmy [Hyers] and Andy [Barkett] and J.D. has been helping," Betts told reporters recently.

It’s obviously nice to lead the league in homers, but it’s even better when two guys from the same team are neck and neck because of how they push each other to be better.

Recently, Martinez has been working with Rafael Devers. Devers has been going through a difficult sophomore slump, in which he isn’t making as much contact as he would like.

“I think of myself as more of a contact hitter, even though I’m striking out a lot right now,” Devers told reporters through an interpreter. The day of this quote, he hit a homerun in a win versus the Orioles.

Slowly but surely, Martinez is showing his new teammates some of his secrets to being such a consistently productive hitter. Perhaps his next buddy on the team should be Jackie Bradley Jr., who has slumped the last few games after showing signs that he may be back on track.

It may not have been one of the main reasons he was signed, but Martinez has certainly stepped up to the plate more than just on the field.

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