Many questioned whether J.D. Martinez, the designated hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers, had lost his touch after a lackluster second half in 2022. However, Martinez’s 2023 season has silenced doubters and exceeded expectations, thanks to a reunion with an old mentor and an undying determination.
Martinez’s recent homestand performance showcased his readiness for the upcoming postseason. He displayed his batting prowess by smacking five home runs against both his former team, the Detroit Tigers, and division rivals, the San Francisco Giants, culminating in his well-deserved recognition as the NL Player of the Week in September.
The key to Martinez’s resurgence can be traced back to his earlier days in Detroit, where he turned into a superstar under the guidance of the current Dodgers hitting coach, Robert Van Scoyoc. This reunion with Van Scoyoc has proven to be a game-changer for Martinez, reigniting his passion for the game and enhancing his skills.
During his standout 2023 season, the 36-year-old slugger achieved a significant milestone by surpassing the 30-home run mark, a feat he hadn’t accomplished since 2019. Remarkably, he joined an elite group of Dodger teammates in the 100-RBI club, solidifying his status as a key contributor to the team’s success.
What’s even more astonishing is that Martinez’s progress was hindered by both groin and hamstring injuries during the second half of the season. Despite these setbacks, he demonstrated remarkable resilience, leaving fans to wonder what he could have achieved with more healthy games under his belt. A 40-home run season seemed well within reach for the Dodgers’ DH.
While he may not reach that specific milestone, Martinez’s 2023 performance stands as his best since 2019. As the postseason approaches, he has a unique opportunity to replicate the heroics of 2018 when he helped the Boston Red Sox secure a championship victory at Dodger Stadium.
This time around, Martinez wears the Dodger blue, and his revitalized bat is poised to play a pivotal role in the team’s championship pursuit. Dodgers fans eagerly await his contributions as the postseason unfolds, hoping that his remarkable resurgence will be the catalyst for their long-awaited title triumph.
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