One of the Tampa Bay Rays’ newest additions appeared on the MLB Network to discuss his excitement about the upcoming 2020 season in St. Pete.
The Tampa Bay Rays recently traded top pitching prospect Matthew Liberatore to the St. Louis Cardinals for two right-handed bats. One of those bats will have an immediate impact on the Rays’ lineup. That player is Jose Martinez.
Martinez recently appeared on the MLB Network to discuss his new employer, the Tampa Bay Rays. In the interview, Jose Martinez paid some respects to the Cardinals but looked ahead to what the future has in store for him with the Tampa Bay Rays.
“This is going to be a better opportunity.”
“This is going to be a great fit for me.”
Martinez said he hasn’t discussed which positions he will primarily play, whether it’s first base, outfield, or designated hitter. He knows he’s going to get plenty of opportunities and is excited to be a Tampa Bay Ray.
“I’m going to be playing for sure.”
The interview left Rays’ fans salivating at the notion that Martinez could see 500 at-bats in 2020. His last year in St. Louis had left him as a part-time player, logging only 334 at-bats in 2019.
Martinez has only reached 500 at-bats once in his career and in the season he slashed .305/.364/.457 with 47 extra-base hits.
In a recent article, we discussed the projection of Ji-Man Choi and Martinez platooning at first. Between Choi’s career numbers against righties and Martinez’s career numbers against lefties, over 550 at-bates (400 Choi, 150 Martinez) they projected out to 30 homers and 113 RBI with a .300 average on the nose.
Martinez has proven he can hit both righties and lefties effectively and while he isn’t the most skilled defender, he does bring versatility.
For his entire career, Martinez has slashed .298/.363/.458 and by all accounts is a wonderful clubhouse guy.
What do you expect from Jose Martinez this year? Will he be our primary DH?