DETROIT — J.D. Martinez is maintaining his simple approach at the plate.
‘Just looking for a ball up,’ Martinez said, ‘and try not to miss it.’
He’s still getting fastballs to hit, and he’s still hitting these individuals out. The key that has turned Martinez’s season from a brief display of stardom to a vocation breakout has been his modifications on everything else.
Martinez’s 21st homer of the year on Friday night time was his fourth with September, already topping the power output for the entire month associated with August. He followed which has a triple that would’ve been a home run in a lot of various other ballparks, but it was hit for the depths of the out-of-town scoreboard at Comerica Park throughout right-center field.
That’s opposite-field power, something Martinez features maintained from his early-season good results to his midsummer cooling pattern to now.
The Tigers knew about Martinez’s power when they authorized him in Spring Coaching following his release from your Astros. What they couldn’t know is how he’d adjust to the way pitchers approach them.
Martinez has swung and skipped big at offspeed pitches, particularly the changeup, but he hasn’t already missed the fastball very often. The true secret for him was to remain off the offspeed.
He has swung with more than half of the changeups he has observed this year — 111 out of 171 — based on STATS. Martinez has missed upon 35 percent of those swings, including 58 percent when pursuing a pitch out of the hit zone. The key for him recently has been to cut down on the speed he swings at all those.
Martinez is at the point now when they have swung at fewer than half your changeups he has seen out of the reach zone. For other offspeed pitches, the chase rate is reduced, including 16 out of 76 curveballs, 22 out of 65 blades, 75 out of 183 sliders and also 13 out of 31 splitters.
The advancement has come in making those at-bats consistent when the pressure is top.
‘That’s one thing I’ve noticed by way of all this is I’ve seen this sort of concentration and a different energy, where everyone knows what’s exactly in danger,’ Martinez said. ‘And when you have expert guys that do that, they are offered to play. They don’t give away just about any at-bats.
‘It doesn’t matter what the score will be, don’t ever give any at-bats absent. Especially right now, it’s easy to throw at-bats away late in the year, You’re tired mentally, in physical form, but this is it. This is where your going gets tough below.’