JD Martinez: Dodgers Broadcaster Sheds Light on When Slugger is Locked in at the Plate
When the Dodgers signed star DH J.D. Martinez this offseason, it was with the idea that a change of scenery would help reinvigorate the five-time All-Star and hopefully turn a few more of them doubles (43 in 2022) into home runs (16 in 2022) this coming season.
Plus J.D. would be reuniting with his old hitting coach Robert Von Scoyoc in Los Angeles, the main guy credited with resurrecting the one-time struggling outfielder’s career a decade ago.
So there’s a reason for Dodgers fans to be excited about the addition of Martinez to the lineup. Another guy with Dodgers and Red Sox connections recently spoke with DodgersNation.com about JD, broadcaster Tim Neverett. Tim was a play-by-play guy with Boston during the club’s 2018 World Series run. JD put together a career year that season with the Sox, posting a 1.031 OPS while hitting 43 home runs with 130 runs batted in over 150 games.
So Neverett is sort of an expert on when Martinez is going right. This is what he told our Doug McKain recently.
“Here’s what I like about J.D., and this will be your tell when he’s going well. When he drives the ball to right center field, he’s got his swing on. He likes to, what he calls, ‘compress his swing’ so it’s gotta be kind of a tight swing. He can be a real value driving in runs. He’s going to have a slugging percentage especially against lefties — he crushes lefties and I think he’s going to be a great addition. … If he’s starting to hit those gap doubles to right center, he’s seeing the ball well.”Via Dodgers Nation TV
Martinez hasn’t gotten off the best of starts with the Dodgers this spring, going 5 for his first 29 (.172) with his new club. He told SportsNet LA over the weekend that he’s working on getting his timing and admitted he’s usually a slow starter in the spring. He didn’t seem concerned at all about his numbers at this point and that gives hope that fans shouldn’t either.