Victor Martinez's Amazing Power/Contact Mix

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When evaluating a hitter, the simplest way to divide their skills is between their ability to make contact and their ability to hit for power. At the beginning of the season, any Tigers fan would have pegged Miguel Cabrera as the gold standard for both, but his injury opened the door for a new leading man. This year, Victor Martinez is mixing power and contact like no one else in the league.

Victor Martinez was a big part of the Tigers deep October run in 2011 and his absence sent shockwaves through the 2012 roster. Two months into the 2013 season, it looked like his career was on its last legs. Then, as it often does, everything changed. He found his footing and regained his timing and went on an absolute tear during the second half of the 2013 season, posting a 147 wRC+ after the break. It was enough to make us believe he was going to be productive this year, but pretty much everyone was shocked to see him throw down the best offensive season of his career at 35. His BABIP, the usual suspect during a career year, is actually a few ticks below his career average. He’s walking a touch more, but the big key for Martinez is the huge power surge coupled with a drop in strikeouts. Read that last sentence again. He’s hitting for more power while striking out less. In today’s game, striking out isn’t frowned upon. If you’re productive, big league teams aren’t worried about...

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