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What Happened to J.D. Martinez?

J.D. Martinez (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

This is not something that I saw coming. If you would have told me back in 2012 that J.D. Martinez was going to be removed from the 40-man roster, I would have said that you were crazy.

But now it makes sense. And it is a good thing.

You can call me delusional, but I just did not see it coming. Not when Martinez hit .274 in 208 at bats when he was called up in 2011. And certainly not when Martinez drove in 19 runs in the first month of 2012.

Even though Martinez plummeted back down to earth for the rest of 2012, but there was still hope. It seemed like the outfielder was just dealing with some injury woes and having a hard time fully acclimating himself to the major leagues.

I never thought that Martinez would be a total difference maker, but at the same time I thought that he would be part of the Astros’ future along with Jose Altuve. Despite his 2012 struggles, Martinez still hit 11 home runs and had 55 RBI’s in 113 games. To expect a 15/80 season from Martinez was not out of the question.

Now talent was still lacking in the organization at this time, so there was the concern of overrating Martinez. But going into 2012, he was being counted on as a middle of the order run producer.

Last season was difficult for the outfielder as he hit .250 with seven home runs and 36 RBI’s in 86 games. He once again had some health issues and also spent some time in AAA.

Again I think Martinez was artificially propped up due to the lack of other options, but he had a pretty quick fall from grace.

The organizational depth chart is now much improved for the Astros, so it should not be a surprise that space is needed on the 40-man roster. I just didn’t see it coming that Martinez would be out righted down to Oklahoma City. What was also surprising, is that he was not claimed by any other team.

I don’t think that this means Martinez is completely out of Jeff Luhnow’s and Bo Porter‘s plans, but this is the perfect example of how different the Astros look going into 2014 than they did in 2012. At best Martinez is a bench player or a spare part in AAA.

Topics: Houston Astros, JD Martinez

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  • 1oldpro

    What happened to Martinez happened in early 2012 when pitchers realized that he had a slow reaction and a slow swing. JD stopped catching up with the fasball. He was constantly falling behind by fouling off good pitches to hit and getting set up for the breaking ball down or the fastball away.
    Tall erect young hitters need to feast on hard stuff in upper part of the strike zone and he was constantly behind them and fouling them off to the first base side. When he made up his mind to swing early he pounded the ball into the ground and is a slow runner so he was always out. Because he swung early to get ahead of the fastball he was suckered by sliders low in the zone.
    Combine that with limited range in the field, an average arm and poor baserunning skills and you have an outfielder headed to AAA.

    • sdtitan

      ^This. Oldpro nailed it. JD is the quintessential AAAA player.

    • Ray_Kuhn_28

      Yes, sums it up quite well. Once pitchers adjusted to him, and it didnt take long, Martinez was exposed.

  • Larry

    Well J.D. was not the player the Astros wanted. He could be the 4th outfielder but he did not express the Astros any. I am still hoping the Astros will get a right fielder in a trade or a Free Agent. I hope the Astros can find a veteran pitcher soon before there is nobody I am running out who the Astros could go after. I am looking at the Tigers rotation they had some good pitchers like Doug Fister, or Rick Porcello the Astros know Brad Ausmus maybe they can swing a great trade. Brett Wallace is a first baseman now since Prince Fielder is traded. Are maybe Jonathan Singleton would be a great pick up for the Tigers. And on getting a closer how about Joaquin Benoit. And for the right field get Shin-Soo Choo give him a 4 year contract with a 1 year option, or a 5 year deal.