Detroit Tigers: Justin Upton is a better long-term fit than J.D. Martinez
Both are obvious offensive juggernauts that can carry an offense.
Tigers fans saw Upton do it down the stretch as the 29-year-old mashed 18 home runs and drove in 41 runs to go along with a 1.160 OPS in the season’s final 37 games to pull Detroit with a stones’ throw of a playoff berth.
Detroit faithful have also seen Martinez’ ability to make a significant impact in a short stretch this season.
The slugger has accumulated 30 runs scored, 29 RBI, 23 walks, 13 home runs, nine doubles and a pair of triples in just 178 plate appearances.
However, baseball isn’t all about offense. If it was, the Tigers likely would have multiple World Series trophies to show for the last decade.
Defensive and base running duties factor into things. On both accounts, Justin Upton has been significantly better.
This makes him a much better long-term fit in the Motor City in the hypothetical situation where Detroit are forced to decide between the two All-Stars.
In 2017 alone, Upton has been the superior defensive option.
Justin Upton 2017 defensive metrics: 9 DRS, 8.9 UZR/150, 3.6 UZR, 6.0 RngR, -1.8 ARM.
J.D. Martinez 2017 defensive metrics: -7 DRS, -7.5 UZR/150, -1.7 UZR, -0.7 RngR, -1.6 ARM.
Martinez’ arm has obviously showed better than Upton’s this season, but the latter has been much more efficient in covering ground, making plays and—most importantly—saving runs.
In the last calendar year, Upton has been one of the Detroit Tigers’ better base-running outfielders, with a 1.1 UBR number.
His -0.2 BsR certainly isn’t anything to write home about, but it is a significantly better number than Martinez’ -2.8.