The Detroit Tigers have been on a tear this season as they have finally begun to click on all cylinders and have been looking like the team who is the favorite to get back to the World Series this year.
Getting back to the World Series is going to involve many pieces and contributions from players on a team, and the Tigers’ biggest contributor so far may not be who you think this article was about. If you thought I was about to go on a rant about first baseman Miguel Cabrera, then you may want to stop reading at this point.
No. The best player for the Tigers so far this season has been designated hitter Victor Martinez.
Martinez is probably one of the most underrated hitters in the game today.
When you hit behind someone like Cabrera who is a two-time MVP and even a Triple Crown winner, you could possibly be overshadowed by a player of his caliber.
But make no mistake about it; Martinez is a big reason why the Tigers are at this point in the season. As of right now, the Tigers have the best record in all of baseball.
Early in the season, Cabrera, who was looked at to carry the load, started slow out of the gates when it came to his hitting. But Martinez stepped up and now leads the team in hitting.
Martinez has a batting average of .331 and leads the team in home runs with 10. Martinez is a tough hitter who will not give up on any at-bat and will make you earn your out as a pitcher and will fight off many pitches to get the one he wants to hit in play, especially on two-strike pitches.
Martinez has a .359 batting average during at-bats that end up having two strikes in the count. This is by far the best on the team and shows his focus at the plate and how he makes every pitcher work for an out when Martinez is at the plate.
Just to add onto his tenacious at-bats, Martinez being a switch-hitter makes him that much more dangerous for opposing teams who are trying to find a weakness. Martinez averages .292 when he hits left-handed and .457 when he bats right-handed and his overall on-base percentage is .378.
Martinez brings everything you could ask for as a hitter who hits behind Cabrera.
Here’s a fun fact for you to end this topic: Martinez has more home runs than he does strikeouts this season, having only struck out nine times.