Detroit Tigers: 20 Best Hitters in the Last 30 Years

9 of 21

Apr 27, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Detroit Tigers designated hitter

Victor Martinez

(41) looks on during pre game batting practice before a game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

13. Victor Martinez

In 2010, the Tigers signed V-Mart to the team as a free agent. Martinez was previously a catcher for the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians. But, the Tigers only wanted him to be the designated hitter. In 2011, he batted above average with .330 with 103 RBIs. He was out for the entire 2012 season with a torn ACL. When he returned in 2013, he hit .301 and knocked in 14 home runs.

It was his 2014 season that truly got him noticed as a pure hitter. He led the American League in on-base percentage and on-base plus slugging with .409 and .974. He finished in second place in the MVP vote to Mike Trout that same year. Also in 2014, Martinez put on a clinic in plate discipline with only 42 strikeouts. He had 70 walks and 32 home runs. He was invited to the All-Star game than year, but did not play. He also earned his second Silver Slugger award. When he approached the plate in 2014, it was practically guaranteed he would make it to first base. In fact, he was intentionally walked 28 times, which also led the AL that year.

Martinez reinjured his knee in the 2015 off-season, keeping his appearances at the plate to a minimum. He appeared in only 120 games, where he eeked out a .245 average. A healthy Martinez is due to be dangerous in 2016.

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