A 35-year-old veteran hitter who signed a one-year, $10 million deal in free agency last winter is hitting the jackpot. In less than 50 games, he’s already hit the same number of home runs as last year.

For a relatively cheap (?) investment of $10 million, the Los Angeles Dodgers got the best slugger in the National League.

J.D. Martinez, 35, signed a five-year, $110 million free agent contract with the Boston Red Sox after last season.

In the offseason, Martinez was not popular on the free agent market. After batting .303 with 43 homers and 130 RBIs in 2018 and .343 with 36 homers and 105 RBIs in 2019, Martinez regressed to .277 with 16 homers and 62 RBIs last year.

Age in the mid-30s, weaknesses on defense. No team offered him a multi-year deal, and the Dodgers signed Martinez for one year and $10 million 메이저사이트. After losing Trey Turner (Philadelphia), Cody Bellinger (Chicago Cubs), and Justin Turner (Boston) in the offseason, the Dodgers were looking to utilize Martinez as a designated hitter.

Martinez hit a three-run home run against the Phillies on April 11. It was his 16th home run of the season.

Martinez hit 16 home runs in 139 games for Boston last year. This year, he has 16 homers in 49 games in a Dodgers uniform. He went from 16 homers in 533 at-bats last year to 16 homers in 193 at-bats this year. In the last month, he’s pounded out a .277/.310/.681 slash line with 13 homers and 33 RBIs.

MLB.com attributes Martinez’s resurgence to his ability to generate a lot of hard contact and pull pitches.

According to the outlet, Martinez has a 13.1-point increase in hard hits (batted ball speeds above 95 mph) from last season. His hard hits on fly balls increased from 47.9 percent to 64.4 percent.

Last year, 14.8% of Martinez’s batted balls were hard hits. This year, it’s up to 23%. Here’s the secret to the increase in home runs.

As of Thursday, Martinez has played in 50 games and has a slash line of .265/.306/.610. His OPS is .916. Sixteen home runs, 17 doubles, two triples, and 47 RBIs. He leads the National League in RBIs and is tied for seventh in home runs. Third on the Dodgers behind Max Muncy (18 homers) and Mookie Betts (17).

Martinez is leading the National League in voting for the 2023 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, ahead of Bryce Harper. A five-time All-Star in his career, Martinez is expected to make his first All-Star appearance for the National League.

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