Victor Martinez had a career year in 2014 and re-signed with the Tigers in the offseason. He loves it in Detroit, and the Tigers love having him, but most people agree that V-Mart is due for a regression in 2015. The question is, just how much will he regress? Age is a factor for the 36-year-old DH, but it seems for Martinez that with age comes maturity. V-Mart is one of the most disciplined hitters in the game, and approaches each at bat with razor-sharp focus. All the Tigers can hope is that those attributes are enough to counteract the forces of ol’ Father Time… or hope that V-Mart subscribes to the Hootie and the Blowfish Temporal Philosophy.
The strange thing about Victor Martinez’s 2014 season is that outside of his power production, most of his other numbers weren’t totally out of the ordinary. He hit .335 in 2014, but he also hit .330 in 2011 and has gone over .300 eight times in his career. He walked nearly 11% of the time, but owns a career 9.5% mark, has gone over 11% before, and has gone over 10% three other times. He drove in 103 RBI, matching his 2011 total, but still only ranking as his fourth highest RBI output in the Majors. His BABIP matched his career average. So why was he so darn good? Well, when he hit the ball, he hit it freaking hard. And on top of that, he didn’t strike out a whole lot.
All of that is to say that most of Martinez’s marks should stay in line with his career output in 2015, even if his power numbers decline. Last season, V-Mart put up a respectable .230 ISO power rating that was well above his career .168 mark, and even towered over his previous high .210 ISO in 2004. His HR/FB ratio was a career-high 16%, aided by the fact that the average V-Mart fly ball in 2014 traveled 298 feet. As great a hitter as Martinez is, it seems unlikely that he’s getting any stronger as he moves into the later half of his thirties. Add in the fact that Martinez is dealing with another knee injury this Spring Training, and it looks like another 30+ HR year is pretty unlikely.
Displaced Tigers Fan’s 2015 Projections
What’s your take on V-Mart’s upcoming season? Let me know right down below.