Free Agent Profile & Prediction #32: Jose Martinez

BALTIMORE, MD – AUGUST 01: Jose Martinez #40 of the Tampa Bay Rays prepares for a pitch during a baseball game game against the Baltimore Orioles on August 1, 2020 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Next up, is Jose Martinez, who spent a down age 31 year with the Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago Cubs in 2020, hitting .182/.265/.295 with both clubs. Martinez burst onto the scene in 2017 in his true rookie season with the St. Louis Cardinals, hitting to the tune of a .897 OPS, while surprisingly not receiving any ROTY votes despite his outstanding first season. Martinez had two more above average seasons with St. Louis, before being traded in 2019 with Randy Arozerena for top pitching prospect Matthew Liberatore and Edgardo Rodriguez. The rise in strikeouts in 2020 is a bit of a worry for a slowly aging Martinez, who went from a 19.7 percent strikeout rate combined between his first four seasons, to a 27.6 percent clip in a shortened 2020. On top of that, his Hard Hit percentages have been dropping since his great seasons in 2017-2018, going from a peak of 44.8% to 32.8 percent in 2020.

Maybe the biggest knock against Martinez, is his inability to play defense, as he has rated below average at first, and god awful in the outfield. He is likely better suited to play first than the outfield, as DRS has Martinez as a -24 defender in just under 1200 innings in the outfield, versus -3 DRS at first in 970 innings. He would severely benefit from being on an American League team that could allow him to completely forget about playing the field, and allow him to focus on returning to his 2017 form.

These are the teams I believe are in contention for Martinez: Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers

Final Landing Spot Prediction: Jose Martinez signs a 1 yr/2.5 million dollar deal with the Texas Rangers

2021 Stat Line Prediction: .252/.328/.445 .773 OPS 13 HR 52 RBI

Published by riskomatt

I am a 23 year old college baseball player at Cumberland University. In the past I have worked for Baseball Info Solutions, I have coached at varying levels, ranging from youth, to collegiate. I am a sports management major in college, entering my senior year, with a minor in journalism. I love to write and I love baseball, so a blog seemed once again a great place to start. Former owner of Its Always Baseball Season sports blog.

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