Victor Martinez
Victor Martinez
40-Year-Old DHDH
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Victor Martinez in 2019. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
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#751
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$Signed a four-year, $68 million contract with the Tigers in November of 2014.
Takes final bow
DHDetroit Tigers  
September 22, 2018
Martinez recorded a first-inning infield single Saturday and was removed for a pinch runner in what's expected to wind up as his final major-league at-bat.
ANALYSIS
V-Mart rolled one through the hole between first and second in the opening inning, and he beat the throw for an infield single before being removed from the game to an ovation from teammates, Royals and attendees. Martinez, 39, has experienced a precipitous power decline in later seasons, leaving the yard just nine times in 2018, but he'll finish a steady and often elite 16-year career with a .295 average, 2,153 hits, 246 homers and 1,178 RBI in 1,972 games.
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+2%
OPS vs RHP
2019
No Stats
2018
 
 
+8%
OPS vs LHP
2017
 
 
+15%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .660 234 17 6 36 0 .256 .295 .365
Since 2017vs Right .675 709 53 13 65 0 .252 .315 .361
2019vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Left .686 133 11 5 22 0 .256 .286 .400
2018vs Right .638 375 21 4 32 0 .249 .301 .336
2017vs Left .626 101 6 1 14 0 .255 .307 .319
2017vs Right .719 334 32 9 33 0 .255 .329 .389
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+17%
OPS on Road
2019
No Stats
2018
 
 
+19%
OPS on Road
2017
 
 
+13%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .621 478 30 7 45 0 .241 .291 .330
Since 2017Away .724 465 40 12 56 0 .264 .329 .395
2019Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Home .595 262 14 2 22 0 .243 .282 .313
2018Away .710 246 18 7 32 0 .259 .313 .397
2017Home .653 216 16 5 23 0 .240 .301 .352
2017Away .740 219 22 5 24 0 .270 .347 .393
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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An irregular heartbeat forced Martinez to the DL on a couple occasions in 2017 and ultimately forced him under the knife for heart ablation surgery in September. When on the field, Martinez was able to hold steady with his strikeout and walk rates, but his power numbers took a big hit as he couldn't get as much lift on the ball while seeing a heavier dose of breaking pitches. The hard-hit numbers look good, but there is a lot of skepticism regarding the hard-hit data coming out of Comerica Park in 2017 as there is evidence to suggest the tech was "hot" and not calibrated correctly. Take this for instance: Martinez had the second-best hard-hit rate at home (min. 200 PA), but he ranked 162nd out of 222 in hard-hit rate on the road. Further, five of the top nine players in home hard-hit rate in 2017 were Tigers. Simply put, it's tough to get excited about a UTIL-only player seeing skills erosion, with a depleted lineup around him and coming off the serious health scare.
Plenty of fantasy owners are hesitant to roster players eligible only as Utility or DH options, but many will make the exception for Martinez. A poor 2015 convinced many drafters that age was finally getting to him, but he bounced back with a vengeance last year while staying healthy all season. He is impossibly slow on the bases, so he does not score many runs despite reaching so much, but he still hits homers and drives in other runners. In terms of batting average, 2015 is the outlier as Martinez has otherwise been a solid source of batting average help. The only caveats with Martinez is age is working against him and that he is rarely allowed to put a glove on to play in the field at this point of his career. There is no upside here, so fantasy pickers are left with the hope he ages gracefully over the final two years of his contract.
The Tigers were counting on the 2014 AL MVP runner-up to provide another elite season at the plate in 2015. But management's heart went into defib in February when Martinez reported he had torn the medial meniscus in his troubled left knee in an offseason training incident. VMart managed to get on the field to start the season but ended up on the DL in short order. When he returned, he struggled with consistency and finished with a slash line of .245/.301/.366 with 11 home runs and 64 RBI. He'll earn $18 million through 2018 to do one thing and that's hit, but he needs to be much better than the -2.0 fWAR player he was in 2015. The MVP-like numbers are in the rearview mirror, but a rebound is in order if he can stay healthy and regain some consistency. Martinez should come at a discount at your draft, but draft him for value not for his name.
Martinez defied Father Time in 2014, posting a career-best campaign in his age-35 season. The veteran designated hitter set career highs in numerous categories, including home runs (32), hits (188), batting average (.335), on-base percentage (.409), slugging percentage (.565), and OPS (.974). His plate discipline was also the best of his career, as Martinez posted a 1.67 BB/K ratio and 93 percent contact rate. While his .230 ISO was well above his career average of .169, Martinez’s .320 BABIP was right in line with his career norm. Eligible at just DH to begin the 2014 season, Martinez will have first base eligibility in many formats after making 35 appearances at the position. Unfortunately, he only had two appearances at catcher and isn't expected to play much behind the plate going forward. The Tigers signed Martinez to a four-year, $68-million contract this offseason, which will keep him locked into the middle of their lineup between Miguel Cabrera and J.D. Martinez for the foreseeable future. A regression in the power department wouldn't be a surprise, but Martinez will post strong enough numbers across the board to warrant a lofty draft slot, although he'll carry added risk following surgery in early February to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. His status for Opening Day could be in question depending on the pace of his recovery.
A slow start to the season made it look like Martinez’s year-long absence due to a knee injury may have kick-started the downward spiral of his career. After the first two months of the season, Martinez was hitting just .228 with two homers and 25 RBI in 197 at-bats. But after the rust wore off, the Martinez of old quickly returned. Over the final four months of the season, Martinez hit .336 with 12 homers and 58 RBI in 408 at-bats. When the season concluded, Martinez’s overall line (.301/.355/.430) was similar to seasons prior to his lost 2012 campaign. At 36, Martinez is mainly limited to handling DH duty. He did manage 11 starts at first base and three starts at catcher last year, and may see minimal action at both positions in 2014, but many he’ll only be eligible at DH in many formats. While owners shouldn’t expect Martinez to match the power numbers he displayed in his prime, he remains a professional hitter who should once again approach or surpass .300, and he’ll also have plenty of opportunities to knock in runs hitting in the middle of the Tigers' lineup.
The 2012 season came to an end for Martinez before it even began, as he suffered an ACL tear while training last offseason. There was talk of Martinez trying to make a late-season return, but the Tigers opted to err on the side of caution and not rush the veteran back into action. The good news is he should be back at full strength for the start of spring training, primed to take over as the Tigers' everyday DH. At 34, Martinez is likely past his prime, and coming off a knee injury is never ideal, but he's still a player to target in fantasy circles after hitting .330/.380/.470 with 12 homers and 103 RBI back in 2011. Martinez will hit behind Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder in the lineup, so there should be ample opportunities for Martinez to drive in his fair share of runs.
Martinez proved to be the perfect fit for the Tigers last season, hitting .330/.380/.470 with 103 RBI and 76 runs in 540 at-bats. He hit just 12 home runs – his lowest total in any 500 at-bat season in his career – but still showed plenty of pop with 40 doubles. While Martinez was originally expected to split time at catcher with Alex Avila, the veteran backstop ended up making just 26 appearances behind the plate due to a lingering knee injury. The knee problem wasn’t enough to sideline Martinez for long, as he continued to log at-bats at designated hitter. V-Mart was going to serve as the regular DH in 2012, but he suffered a torn ACL to his left knee in January and could miss the entire season as a result.
Martinez appeared to be a nice fit in Boston. He liked the city, he was a big-time bat for the middle of lineup, and he filled a screaming need at catcher. Additionally, he showed versatility at first base and could have become the designated hitter once the Red Sox part ways with David Ortiz. Alas, the Red Sox had concerns about the final years of a long-term contract for a 32-year-old catcher. The Tigers, however, didn't. In Detroit, Martinez is expected to be the team's primary DH with Alex Avila working as the team's No. 1 backstop. Martinez will likely catch on days when Detroit faces a left-hander -- Avila is a lefty swinger and Martinez absolutely mashes southpaws. He's a nice fit in Detroit and if not asked to catch every day, may still be a good fit in 2014 when the contract expires.
Martinez gave Boston a consistent bat from the catcher spot after his arrival from Cleveland at the trade deadline. Though he rotated between catcher, first base and designated hitter, Martinez finished the season as Boston's everyday catcher, replacing the slumping Jason Varitek. He helped carry the Red Sox in the final two months, hitting .336/.405/.507 with eight homers and 41 RBI in 56 games. The 2010 season will be his first one as a full-time catcher since 2007, which is something to consider heading into the season, but Martinez should remain one of the elite hitting catchers in baseball.
Martinez had to think someone had a voodoo doll bearing his resemblance as he missed time with elbow, hamstring, neck and hand injuries last season and was limited to just 266 at-bats. He failed to homer until September, a month that saw him hit .288 with 14 RBI. His 2007 season (.301, 25 HR, 114 RBI) was quite likely his peak, but there's no reason to not expect a rebound season out of Martinez. Look for the Indians to play him a little more often at first base in an effort to keep him healthy, but he should still remain eligible as a catcher for the foreseeable future. He'll return to the elite at his position.
Martinez set a career high in homers (25) and RBI (114) in 2007, but he's been a special hitter for four years running now. After a monsterous May and June he cooled off a little, but still managed an .810 OPS with nine homers and 46 RBI in the second half. A rebound season out of Travis Hafner and the emergence of Asdrubal Cabrera should keep the RBI chances flowing, but whether he can surpass his career-high totals in 2008 will largely depend on whether he can avoid those nagging injuries that catchers can get. The Indians did move him over to first base for 30 games last season in an effort to keep his bat in the lineup while getting him out from behind the plate so that should help. It'll be tough to expect a repeat performance from the 29-year-old but you're still looking at one of the elite catchers even if he takes a small step back.
Even though he can kill you for a month (.165 in June last year), Martinez has vaulted himself to the top of any catcher list you pick up. His defense has always been a concern, but overall the positives far outweigh the negatives. While we would love to see a power spike in 2007, you can certainly expect 15 HR, 85 RBI, 80 runs and an average north of .300. If you like taking catchers early, take this one even earlier.
The question now isn't whether Martinez should be the top catcher selected on draft day. The question is how early to pick him. Martinez posted back-to-back dominant offensive seasons, not slowed by the rigors of catching 140-plus games. Entering the season at the pivotal age of 27, Martinez could be poised for another big year -- even bigger than his previous two. After signing a five-year, $15.5 million deal in April 2005, there are only baseball-related things to think about. With impressive ability behind the plate and at bat, there just aren't many worries.
After being highly touted as one of the league's best prospects, Martinez exploded on offense in 2004 when he raised his slugging percentage well over 100 points from the limited time he saw with the Indians in 2003 and provided solid defense behind the plate at catcher. There is no doubt that in 2005 he deserves to be ranked in the top three among catchers.
Martinez is an extremely high-ceiling player that will get his shot in 2004 as the starter, a shot many thought he'd get in 2003. Questions about his defense, which kept him in the minors to begin with, seem to have been resolved.
Two-time organizational MVP, Martinez is ready and right in line with GM Mark Shapiro's 2004 view. He has all the makings of a fantasy stud at catcher. The trade of Einar Diaz opens the door for Martinez to make the Opening Day roster. Despite questions about his defense, he is the best AL catching prospect. He will challenge immediately for the starting job with Josh Bard and may win it.
More Fantasy News
Plans to finish career Saturday
DHDetroit Tigers  
September 21, 2018
Martinez will take the final at-bats of his career Saturday against the Royals, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Day off vs. Twins
DHDetroit Tigers  
September 19, 2018
Martinez is out of the lineup against Minnesota on Wednesday, Evan Woodbery of MLive Media Group reports.
ANALYSIS
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Out of lineup Sunday
DHDetroit Tigers  
September 16, 2018
Martinez is not starting Sunday against Cleveland.
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Will retire at season's end
DHDetroit Tigers  
September 15, 2018
Martinez announced Saturday that he will retire at the end of the 2018 season, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
ANALYSIS
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Out of Wednesday's lineup
DHDetroit Tigers  
September 12, 2018
Martinez is not in the lineup against Houston on Wednesday, Chris McCosky of the Detroit News reports.
ANALYSIS
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