Can Victor Martinez Return to Form?
To say that Victor Martinez struggled in 2015 would be a massive understatement. His .245/.301/.366 would be tolerable for a slick fielding middle infielder but not for a designated hitter on a team with championship aspirations.
According to Fangraphs, Martinez was worth negative two wins above replacement, which tied him with Pablo Sandoval for the distinction of least valuable player in the league.
Martinez is now 37 years old and has a long history of injuries. It probably wouldn’t surprise anyone if his career never really rebounded, but neither would it be surprising if he was able to turn in a couple more solid seasons. 2015 was a disappointment but he led the league in OPS in 2014 as a 35 year old.
In his four seasons with the Tigers (he missed all of 2012 with an injury) Martinez has hit .306/.365/.462. That’s basically an exact copy of his career marks.
He has probably been permanently displaced as the cleanup hitter by J.D. Martinez, but the Tigers will need something close to those marks out of Victor in the five slot in 2016 if they hope to reach their maximum potential as a team.
Next: Is the Starting Rotation Deep Enough?