5 Detroit Tigers MVP Candidates for 2015

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Oct 3, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Detroit Tigers designated hitter J.D. Martinez (28) reacts after hitting a three-run home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the third inning of game two of the 2014 ALDS playoff baseball game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

#5: J.D. Martinez

This is a huge year for J.D. Martinez. A lot of the national media is bearish on J.D. Mart in 2014, believing that his .315 average, 23 homers, 76 RBIs and .912 OPS were an illusion and he’s incapable of repeating those numbers.

Even many Tigers’ fans are concerned. We’ve seen it many times before, especially recently with one-year phenom outfielders like Andy Dirks and Brennan Boesch.

There is a difference in Martinez and those other players, however. J.D. came from a system in which he was being underutilized and was a victim of the alleged depth of the Houston Astros’ organization. He came to Detroit and proved all the doubters wrong.

He wasn’t going to make the majors in 2014 after signing a minor league deal, they all said. His offensive explosion in Toledo wouldn’t translate to the big leagues. He wouldn’t stick around Detroit long. He would eventually cool off. All of these doubts were cast aside in J.D.’s stellar 2014 campaign.

We have often made the comparison to Jose Bautista with J.D. Mart. Bautista bounced around and was an after thought in his stops too. This is a more appropriate comparison