Wah-wah. Sad trombone. “Those aren’t pillows!” Or whatever signal you want for a reversal from good to bad. That was what I heard when it was announced that Victor Martinez had a torn meniscus, which reminds me of a conversation I had when calculators were first introduced in 1961 and I had to abandon my loyalty to my other counting device, screaming, “I’m torn, abacus!” I got sad when Martinez was hurt, not because I wanted to draft him and now he had an injury. I was saddened because now I figured my ranking of him in the 110’s wouldn’t be as low as other ‘perts. You know, they’d hear this news and lower him. Much to my surprise, I overestimated the rest of the ‘pert world. They still have him ranked 75 overall on average. *scratches head* You know, head scratching really doesn’t help one understand anything, which sounds like a line from C.J. Wilson’s latest dandruff commercial. CBS has him ranked 15th overall. I’m not even joking. I wish I were. “Your final wish is granted.” No, Genie in a Bottle, it’s a figure of speech! Okay, it looks like CBS has changed his ranking slightly, that was before the knee surgery. Stupid, wish-taking Genie! Martinez is still ranked way too high, and it has nothing to do with the surgery. So, what makes Victor Martinez overrated for 2015 fantasy baseball?
Last year, he had 32 homers and hit .335. Those numbers don’t seem absurd in themselves. A lot of guys hit 32 homers. Like nine other guys last year. Lots of guys do it after the age 35. Okay, just David Ortiz and V-Mart, but a lot of guys could. A lot of guys hit 32 homers at the age of 35 after having a peak power year of 25 homers. Like…Um, that one guy with the cool facial hair…And that other guy! Yeah, him too. Wait, did he do it? Who even is he in this equation? Okay, no one does it. 32 homers from V-Mart was absurd. He hit 14 and 12 homers the previous two years. That’s right, his previous two years combined didn’t come close to 32 homers. Last year, he had a 16% HR/FB rate after regularly posting ones near 10%. If his HR/FB% only falls to 10%, then he hits 20 homers next year. His batted-ball distances were solid as he pulled the ball more. As Tim McCarver would say, he’s a professional hitter. V-Mart can hit the ball where he wants and maybe he wanted to hit for power with a contract on the horizon. This feels anecdotal and silly, but maybe there’s something to it. Now, will a 36-year-old that is out for two months with knee surgery that just got a huge contract want to rush back and hit homers again or will he take his time and slap line drives as he did for the last four years? I don’t doubt V-Mart’s ability to hit .300, and he should get runs and RBIs while returning around mid-April. I just wouldn’t count on anywhere close to the power from last year. Players don’t peak at 35 years old. “Well, maybe, I don’t know…” Shut up, Barry Bonds. Votto is a good comparison to V-Mart. Both are capable of .300 averages and middling power with some runs and RBIs. Votto is also five years younger than V-Mart. Last year, you stepped into a big pile of crap, took off your shoe and V-Mart grabbed it from you and cleaned up the sole, revealing the crap was gold. I wouldn’t expect the same two years in a row.