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#pounditWednesday, January 26, 2022

JD Martinez explains why he felt he had no chance of winning MVP

JD Martinez

By any measure, J.D. Martinez had a remarkable 2018 season. The Boston Red Sox DH hit .330 with 43 home runs and a league-best 130 RBIs, but those numbers were only good enough for a fourth-place finish in the race for American League MVP.

It turns out Martinez wasn’t remotely surprised by that finish, because he had grown to accept that a player whose primary role is as a designated hitter would have to have an unparalleled offensive season to claim the award.

Ultimately, Martinez is correct. More and more voters factor defense into the MVP conversation, and that was one reason why his teammate Mookie Betts, a good defender who’s so versatile that the Red Sox considered sticking him in the infield at times, claimed the trophy. It’s not Martinez’s fault that he makes no defensive contributions as a DH, but it definitely hurt him.

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