J.D Martinez Slugs His Way To History

Sam Farmer - Contributing Writer (@samfarmer24)

Anybody that paid any attention to baseball this year knows that J.D Martinez was good. But how good was he? Historically good. J.D was so good in fact, that he won two silver slugger awards! Is that even possible? Yes, it is.

J.D won the silver slugger award at both DH and in the outfield. Each year, Louisville Slugger recognizes the best offensive player at each position in both leagues with Silver Slugger Awards. The winner of the award is determined by managers and coaches throughout MLB. These voters are not allowed to select from their own team. J.D won easily at the DH position, but also claimed one of the three A.L outfield awards. This is the first time in history that anybody has ever won at two different positions. This double award shows how dominant J.D was as a hitter.
Barry Chin / Boston Globe

Despite being the first to ever win two Silver Slugger awards in one year, J.D somehow didn’t even finish in the top three finalists for the AL MVP. The three chosen were likely winner and teammate Mookie Betts, Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez, and player of a generation Mike Trout. These players all had remarkable seasons, but for Martinez to not be in the top three seems like a snub.

J.D hit .330 with 43 homers and 130 RBI’s and contributed greatly as a veteran leader within the Red Sox clubhouse. These numbers put him as the league leader in RBI’s, and second in the other two categories. So how does a near triple crown season not even get J.D a top 3 MVP candidate spot? The likely answer is defense. DH’s are at a disadvantage due to not being able to have a positive defensive impact, and Martinez didn’t do all that well defensively when he was in the outfield. He had a 6.8 offensive WAR, but his defensive WAR was negative 1.4. This surely brought his candidacy down a little.

DH’s will always have a tough time winning the MVP award due to their lack of defense. This has been shown in the past by the fact that greats such as David Ortiz and Edgar Martinez never won the award. J.D had a historic season, but it just wasn’t quite enough with the incredible seasons the three top candidates had. J.D and his fans might be a little annoyed with the snub, but regardless of that award, J.D had a truly historic season.