Designated Hitter: Victor Martinez
2016 Stat of Note: .289 Batting Average
It is probably safe to say that Victor Martinez didn’t have the best season of his career in 2015.
The designated hitter logged a 78 wRC+, a .286 wOBA and a .245 batting average en route to posting a -2.0 WAR.
That’s why it was so encouraging to see Martinez bounce back the way he did in 2016.
While the designated hitter didn’t return to the heights he reached in 2014, when he finished as runner-up to Mike Trout in the MVP voting, he did enjoy a solid season.
Over the span of 154 games, the veteran drove in 86 runs while scoring 65 times. He also drew 50 walks while only striking out 90 times.
In the power department, Martinez mashed 27 home runs and 22 doubles while ranking sixth among Detroit starters with a .186 ISO.
What’s more, the player’s wOBA rose to .351.
While Martinez won’t get to see Chris Sale (who he’s 20-for-53 against with a 1.242 OPS) in the opening series since the ace was dealt to Boston, Detroit’s designated hitter should face some favorable matchups early.
The 38-year-old is a .303 career hitter in 56 plate appearances against James Shields. In 39 trips to the plate versus Jose Quintana, Martinez is hitting a robust .436 with a .923 OPS.