Has J.D. Martinez slugged his way back to the forefront of the baseball world?
The Boston Red Sox designated hitter finished second Thursday in the first American League MVP Award poll MLB.com conducted for the 2021 season. Martinez has enjoyed a blistering start to the season, and he garnered more points than any other MVP rival not named Mike Trout on MLB.com’s initial ballot.
“So much for that decline,” MLB.com’s Thomas Harrigan wrote. “Martinez’s .680 OPS last season is already a distant memory, as the veteran slugger has mashed his way to a 1.145 mark in 2021 (through Tuesday night). He already has as many home runs (seven) as he hit in 54 games last season, and he’s chipped in 10 doubles. With a Major League-leading 61 total bases and 21 RBIs in 22 games, Martinez has helped Boston grab first place in the AL East a year after finishing last.”
Martinez also leads the major leagues in extra-base hits with 17 and is tied for the lead in doubles. He credits his renewed success to his return to his normal preparation for a season.
However, Martinez might have to raise his game to a supernatural level and sustain it if he is to overtake Trout, who is batting .420 with a 1.306 OPS after 20 games.
Will Martinez catch Trout, or will the Boston slugger have to be content with a secondary prize such as the AL’s Home Run King?
It’s just another of the interesting 2021 Red Sox storylines fans should follow as the season progresses.
The post Here’s Where J.D. Martinez Finishes In MLB.com’s First 2021 AL MVP Poll appeared first on NESN.com.