Arizona Diamondbacks: A historic September pads J.D. Martinez’s N.L. MVP case
J.D. Martinez of the Arizona Diamondbacks deserves as much N.L. MVP consideration as anybody
With his team down 3-1 in the ninth inning, J.D. Martinez of the Arizona Diamondbacks led off the inning in a way that should not shock any D-backs fan at this point.
“Just Dingers” blasted his 45th home run of the season and became the first player since Bonds in 2001, and the seventh overall, to hit 45 home runs through his first 116 games of a season.
The opposite field dinger (see what I did there) sparked a 4-3 Diamondbacks win in the regular season home finale. The game ended on a walk-off walk to David Peralta.
Martinez is putting up historic numbers — and at least in one area, production we have not seen since Barry Bonds’ heyday.
The 30-year-old did not even play in a game until May 16, which makes his latest historic achievement that much more incredible.
Being mentioned in the same breath as Bonds means you are doing something special.
What Martinez has done since becoming a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks before the trade deadline deserves its own place on major league baseball’s Mount Rushmore of accomplishments.
In his first 58 National League games, Martinez is hitting .303 with 28 home runs and 64 RBI.
As impressive as his overall production has been with Arizona, Martinez now owns the most home runs (16) and the most RBI (36) of any Diamondback in any month.
On Tuesday, Martinez hit an ankle high pitch — for a grand slam…are you kidding me folks!
Martinez seems to do something everyday that drives in a run or sets up a run. Whether it is a double, a solo home run, a hard-hit single, a grand slam or dare I say it…four home runs in one game, he always finds a way to have a positive impact.
Superior to Stanton?
Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins and Paul Goldschmidt are considered the favorites for N.L. MVP.
But Stanton has only hit one more home run (31) than Martinez in the second half (30) and J.D. has driven in 71 runs compared to Stanton’s 68.
In addition, Martinez’s full body of work at the plate is far surperior to Stanton’s. “Just Dingers” .306/.380/.699 slash line is better than Stanton’s .276/.373/.625 mark. Martinez’s 1.079 OPS is 81 points higher than Stanton’s.
Plus, what Martinez is doing when it matters most should not be forgotten, especially when you compare J.D.’s production to Giancarlo. In 85 September at-bats, Stanton is hitting .212 with only six home runs and 16 RBI.
Martinez’s production has led his team into the postseason. Stanton’s inability to produce helped the Marlins fall out of the wild card race.
Nobody has ever won MVP after switching leagues, and Stanton is near the top of every major senior circuit category.
But 64 percent of Martinez’s home runs and 62 percent of Martinez’s RBI have come with the Diamondbacks.
I have a hard time believing that anybody who switched leagues and was considered for N.L. MVP provided more value than Martinez.
So how many votes will Martinez recieve? The field is crowded, But after Yoenis Cespedes joined the New York Mets from the Detroit Tigers midseason, he hit 17 home runs and drove in 44 in 57 games and finished 13th.
Do I think Martinez should win the award? No, it is Paul Goldschmidt’s turn, but Martinez should finish in the top five.
Regardless of where he finishes, general manager Mike Hazen’s acquisition of Martinez will easily go down as the best mid season acquisition this year and it might just be the best ever.
Remember when Manny Ramirez almost hit .400 with 53 RBI in 53 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008? That acquisition is considered one of best midseason trades in MLB history. Martinez’s production has been far better.
To think he was hit in the hand in his first at-bat as a Diamondback and could have easily missed a large chunk of time.
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