Detroit Tigers: A look at the 2018 Infield

PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 09: Miguel Cabrera
PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 09: Miguel Cabrera /
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CHICAGO, IL – AUGUST 25: Victor Martinez
CHICAGO, IL – AUGUST 25: Victor Martinez /

Victor Martinez

So technically the DH is not an infielder, but we wanted to sneak V-Mart into one of these posts while we still can.

In all seriousness, Martinez struggled last season at the plate. However, there is optimism that he still has enough in the tank for one more solid year next year.

Quoting from our Christmas wish list post a few weeks ago:

"Power was a big problem for Martinez in 2017. While his hard-hit rate actually improved, he was not getting the ball up in the air enough to generate any home runs. His fly-ball percentage was over 38% three years in a row before dropping to 34.2% in 2017. His ground-ball rate jumped up to 42.1%, his highest since 2011. Decreasing speed and a higher rate of ground balls is not a recipe for success for Martinez, and it showed last season. However, a small adjustment to a more fly-ball conducive swing (factoring in the ever popular launch angle) could work wonders for V-Mart next year."

Additionally, Martinez had a .280 BABIP, down from his .309 mark. Martinez should see an increase in his BABIP if he is able to get more balls in the air. With a nearly identical walk rate between 2016 and 2017, there’s no reason to assume Martinez can’t hit closer to .275 again next season.

Regardless of how Martinez does, he won’t be back with the team in 2019. The Tigers will likely move the aging Miguel Cabrera to DH for the remainder of his contract.

Even coming off a down year, Martinez is one of the greatest designated hitters in franchise history. Here’s to hoping we can get one more solid year out of him. After all, we are paying him $18 million dollars.