J.D. Martinez made history on Tuesday as he joined an exclusive list as a member of the 300 home run club. He became the 156th player in MLB history to do so, including the Dodgers’ own Freddie Freeman, who did it earlier this season. It was only fitting that his 300th home run came in such a hitter-friendly park like Coors Field and it helped supply the Dodgers with another needed victory.
Martinez hit two home runs in the game to get to 300. But it wasn’t always expected for the veteran slugger.
“It’s a blessing,” Martinez said of his achievement. “Honestly, from where I started, with my whole story of getting released by Houston and getting the chance, an opportunity, with Detroit, and them believing in me, and the help of Craig (Wallenbrock, hitting instructor) and Robert (Van Scoyoc, Dodgers’ hitting coach) kind of changing my whole career. It means a lot to us.”Via OC Register
Martinez has seen his career ebb and flow but he has established himself as one of the more feared hitters in the game. One person that Martinez has credited with helping him get to this point has been Robert Van Scoyoc, the Dodgers hitting coach. He and Martinez have a history together from their time spent in different places but Van Scoyoc has made a massive impact on the success of the hitter.
“He’s like a little brother to me, so it means a lot,” Martinez, said of Van Scoyoc. “Back in Detroit, when everyone was saying I could hit 300 home runs, he goes, ‘I want 400.’ And I was like, ‘400? You crazy.’ So we’d always laugh about it.”Via LA Times
After a down year with the Boston Red Sox last year, Martinez turned down more money to join the Dodgers because he thought they would be able to help revitalize his career. So far, it seems to have worked out for him — and Van Scoyoc has been a major reason why.
On the year, Martinez has 18 home runs and 51 runs batted in while hitting .258 entering Wednesday. Over the course of the entire year last season, he hit 16 home runs with 62 runs batted in while hitting .274. The success is there for Martinez and the Dodgers are reaping the benefits.
If he can continue this production, he will end up being the value signing of the offseason. LA got him on a one-year deal for just $10 million and he has looked to be worth at least double that this year.
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