Career years are not supposed to happen at the age of 36. Especially when almost your entire career has been spent squatting behind the plate. Such is the case however in 2014 for Detroit Tigers converted 1B Victor Martinez who went into Saturday's action with a ridiculously shocking .328 batting average to go with a career-high 26 home runs and 85 RBI with a full month to go. What Martinez has done this season is beyond staggering and he already has locked himself into one of the very best values regardless of position in fantasy baseball this season. Not even the biggest Martinez booster could have seen this coming, as all those years of catching should have taken a toll on his numbers. In addition Martinez missed all of 2012 with a ripped up knee which added more questions to his potential. Finally, Martinez behind removed completely from behind the plate took away his biggest pre-2014 draw which was his catcher eligibility. Losing that eligibility put Martinez only into first base usage and going into 2014 no one could imagine having him on their roster as anything more than a backup due to the fact his light power numbers would not be a good fit at a position where you need a monster producer in order to keep up with the rest of your league opponents. Fast forward five months and Martinez arguably has been a top five fantasy baseball first baseman this season and shows no signs of letting up.
In digging in a bit on the numbers, one has to look back a bit at 2013. After missing all of 2012 with the knee, it was obvious that Martinez was going to be slow out of the gates. That is exactly what happened as he only .221 in April and .235 in May. However Martinez flipped the switch for the second half of the season as he went on a hitting rampage. Overall Martinez wound up hitting .a crazy .361 for the second half and his scorching bat carried forward to 2014 as well. The power however has been the biggest shock as Martinez has not 20 or more home runs since 2010 (20) and he wound up hitting only 12 in 2011 and 14 in 2013. Martinez though has gotten a ton of great pitches to hit batting on front of or behind Miguel Cabrera this season which is part of the season he has gone crazy. In addition being fresh due to not having to deal with catching anymore also helped as well. Put that with the always top notch pure hitting of Martinez and what we have are his awesome numbers. While no one expects Martinez to do this again in 2015, he is showing he still has a few good seasons left and deserves consideration as a top UTIL or CI bat a year from now. While we miss the catching classification, Martinez is proving his worth no matter where he plays given the incredible results we have seen.