Only a few weeks after the Red Sox and J.D. Martinez agreed to a contract, the slugger is already getting comfortable at the plate in a Boston uniform.
The negotiations between Martinez and the club bled into the start of spring training so it wasn’t the average start to a season for the all-star. Martinez didn’t have much time to get himself ready for the high expectations that come with playing in Boston.
Even though it is only spring training, Martinez going 0 for 2 in his spring debut was already being widely discussed.
That's it! Get rid of the bum!!! He can't handle the pressure in Boston!!!!
— Wiley Miller (@TheWileyMiller) March 7, 2018
Martinez erased all doubt the next day when he went 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI and one run scored. His performance rang well with his new manager as Alex Cora gave the slugger a Manny Ramirez comparison.
In a rain-shortened game against the Twins on Saturday, Martinez came up big in a bases-loaded situation, collecting a RBI single.
An RBI single for Martinez cuts the Twins lead to 10-2 #GrapefruitGators
— Danny Villanueva (@danny_361) March 10, 2018
Alex Cora says that he likes the results he is seeing from his newly acquired power bat but is more focused on the quality of his at-bats.
“Quality at-bats, obviously the results are great but the way he approaches the whole hitting side,” Cora said. “He goes about his business the right way. He prepares, even in a spring training game.”
Martinez echoed what his manager said in that he is only concerned with the quality of contact and not the results when it comes to his offense.
“I’m just happy I’m hitting it,” Martinez said. “The fact that they are falling in is cool. I don’t pay too much mind to spring training, I’m just trying to get my legs underneath me and see good pitches.”
With two and a half weeks to go before opening day, it seems like Martinez arriving late to spring camp will be a non-issue going forward.
The slugger has jumped over his first hurdle as a Red Sox, time will tell whether he hurdles the rest with as much ease.