2023 Los Angeles Dodgers Player Reviews: J.D. Martinez

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

The Los Angeles Dodgers underwent a significant shift in strategy last season when J.D. Martinez was signed to be their everyday designated hitter.

Prior to signing Martinez to a one-year contract for the 2023 season, the Dodgers used the DH spot in their lineup to rotate various players as a means of providing them with some rest. Martinez rewarded the Dodgers for their new approach by putting together an All-Star campaign.

However, he also dealt with a nagging groin/adductor issue that kept Martinez out of the lineup for multiple games before an eventual stint on the 10-day injured list. The veteran slugger also missed time from late April into May because of lower back tightness.

When healthy, Martinez was a power threat from the right side of the plate. He attributed some of the turnaround to reuniting with Dodgers hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc and former Boston Red Sox teammate Mookie Betts. Similarly, Betts credited Martinez for being a driving force behind his MVP-caliber season.

Martinez was named the starting DH for the National League in the 2023 MLB All-Star Game and finished the year batting .271/.321/.572 with 33 home runs, 103 RBI, 61 runs scored and a 135 wRC+. He eclipsed 30 home runs and 100 RBI for the first time since 2019.

Martinez also was part of Dodgers having four players with at least 100 RBI last season. The group was led by Betts (107 RBI) and included Max Muncy (105), Martinez (103) and Freeman (102).

While Martinez was signed for the DH role, he was pressed into minimal duty in left field, playing 12 innings over three games (one start).

J.D. Martinez 2023 highlight

On May 22 against the Atlanta Braves, Martinez went 2-for-4 with a pair of solo home runs to help lead the Dodgers to a comeback win at Truist Park.

Just over one month later, Martinez reached 300 career home runs. And during the final month of the regular season, Martinez got the better of former teammate Eduardo Rodriguez by slugging two home runs off the left-hander who vetoed a trade to the Dodgers.

2024 outlook

Martinez had a bounce-back year with the Dodgers and has put himself in position to sign a multi-year contract. The possibility of re-signing with the Dodgers hinged on their pursuit of Shohei Ohtani, who received a record deal from the team.

Martinez reportedly has drawn interest from the Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays.

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