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Friday, January 12, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: J.D. MARTINEZ OUTFIELDER FREE AGENT

Boy talk about driving a hard bargain.  With the MLB Hot Stove season acting more like a Cold Stove campaign, the remaining top free agents are starting to get a bit antsy.  Not so outfielder J.D. Martinez as he proclaimed on Thursday that he is willing to wait until spring training to get paid what he thinks he deserves.  COming off a truly monster 2017 campaign where he smacked 45 home runs, Martinez certainly has a point in terms of his anticipated compensation.  Still those who are interested in owning Martinez for 2017 fantasy baseball are hoping he ends up with the Boston Red Sox and their offensive haven of a ballpark which has been the hot rumor all year.  Until then, let's dig in a bit more on his OF 1 standing.  First let's look at those 2017 digits:

.303
44 HR
104 RBI
85 R
4 SB

Wow what power.  Martinez has always had very good power but not great like he had last season.  His previous career-best in home runs was 38 back in 2015 and that was playing half his games in a spacious ballpark in Detroit.  So Martinez has power that will be potent no matter where he is playing but he got a boost to 44 last season by playing the last two months of the year in Arizona and their launching pad park Chase Field.  Thus, it stands to reason that if Martinez signs into another offensive park, he could very well be back at 40 homers and 100-plus RBI.  Add in 80 RBI and Martinez has the power numbers down pat.

In terms of the batting average, Martinez has now hit over .300 in three of the last four seasons and so he clearly has established a baseline of being an asset there as well.  What is interesting is that Martinez is a hacker who strikes out a lot (26.2 K/9 last season) but he offsets that some with a lot of walks (10.8 BB/9).  So again Martinez should be around .300 once again and with that extreme power, he absolutely makes the OF 1 grade this season.

So all in all, J.D. Martinez makes for a great anchor to your outfield who could be had in Round 3 this season.  Also the longer he holds out, the more his price will drop which will help you at the draft table even more.  Flat in his prime, Martinez will surely be here awhile as a monster slugger.

2018 PROJECTION:  .298 39 HR 111 RBI 86 R 5 SB


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