Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: J.D. Martinez Details Swing Changes That Revitalized His Career in LA

New Dodgers slugger J.D. Martinez was in need of a reboot. He’d worked so hard to build a reputation as a feared hitter over the course of his career, but toward the conclusion of his final year as a member of the Boston Red Sox things began to change.

Those times that he used to be a hitter that most pitchers rued facing — times that made him a five-time All Star, including in four out of his five years in Beantown — began to show signs of fading, and suddenly the feared hitter needed to find what made it all click for him in the box.

During this past offseason, Martinez signed a one-year, $10 million contract with the Dodgers.

His role?

Not as a player that would necessarily play every single day. More so as a veteran presence that could hopefully make an impact on a somewhat consistent basis, a far cry from his prime that wasn’t too far in his past.

Now here we sit in June. The Dodgers are firmly in the grind of a season and J.D. Martinez has again found the magic that many had thought would be behind him.

He’s become a player that the Dodgers rely on to make a mark every day, and he’s been doing just that as the latest reclamation project for a franchise full of them.

Over his last couple weeks, he’s slashing .323/.333/.823 with nine home runs and 18 RBI.

Stretch that out over the past month and those numbers aren’t an aberration, as he still has a great slash line of .289/.321/.702 with 14 homers and 34 RBI.

Suddenly, J.D. Martinez has gone from a hitter that the Dodgers hoped they could get some production out of to an unlikely candidate for the midsummer classic in Seattle, a selection that would be tangible validation of his rebirth at the plate.

Martinez spoke to The Athletic about the swing changes that made this all possible:

“Everything just kind of dominoes from my hands. If my transition is broken, my body is going to find another way to time the baseball and read the ball. Then it transitions to my lower body, then it transitions into my trunk not rotating as much as it used to. A bunch of little things that compound over time.

“I feel like I’ve been able to be competitive over the last couple of years because of, I don’t know, my will. I was just out-willing it. But being able to clean up some of those things have definitely shown up. It’s a different kind of me, I would say.”

Via The Athletic

Now that Martinez no longer has to use his willpower to find his rhythm and it’s all coming natural for him, he’s unlocked what made him great in his past — to his team’s great benefit.

The past is now the present for J.D. Martinez, and the Dodgers will gladly keep riding that wave as far as it takes them.

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Matt Wagner

Matt Wagner was born and raised in southern California, and he lived there before moving to Colorado and getting his B.A. in Communications from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 2022. He relocated back to southern California in 2023 and is looking forward to covering the Dodgers again here at Dodgers Nation. Some of his past work is in Bleacher Report, Dodgers Tailgate, and, most recently, Colorado Buffaloes Wire. Aside from writing, you can probably catch him petting the nearest dog or eating some good Mexican food.

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