Martinez Versus Judge: Who Provides More Value?

Major League Baseball’s hottest debate heading into the 2019 season is the battle between Mookie Betts and Mike Trout for being the sport’s top dog. However, it would be hard to leave out two big names receiving a bit less flare in the media. J.D. Martinez and Aaron Judge, two of baseball’s biggest sluggers, deserve some love too. As so, we present Martinez versus Judge: Who Provides More Value?

By the Numbers- Measurements

By now you have heard that Aaron Judge is one of baseball’s biggest stars, but thatMartinez Versus Judge: Who Provides More Value? also applies in a literal sense. Judge is listed at 6’7″ and 282 lbs., a true mammoth in the sport. Martinez is no slouch, countering at 6’3″ and 220, but few players possess the shear mass of Judge. Advantage to the judge’s chambers on this one.

By the Numbers- Contracts

Aaron Judge is a bargain, as he has yet to make more than $650,000 in a season. Martinez is raking in an impressive $23.75 million per year, as he enters year two of his five-year, $110MM contract. Advantage to Judge, and especially the Yankees, at least until it’s time to pay the big man.

By the Numbers- Offense

In a side-by-side comparison, Martinez bested Judge in nearly every offensive category in the 2018 season. It is important to note that Judge was sidelined with a wrist injury that held him to 112 games. Even so, Judge only managed to surpass Martinez in walks (76 to J.D.’s 69). The Red Sox off-season splash put together a historic season for Boston that pushed him past the Yankee star in many statistics including batting average (.330 to .279), home runs (43 to 27), RBI (130 to 67), and OPS (1.031 to .919). Martinez’ 43 homers, in fact, were the most ever for a player in his first season in Boston.

Martinez takes the upper hand, but in a full season for Judge, we can expect closer results in 2019.

By the numbers- Defense

In this side of the Martinez versus Judge debate, Judge surely takes the cake. Martinez struggles in the outfield according to his defensive metrics on Fangraphs, with a Defensive UZR/150 of -4.6 for the 2018 season. That would place him towards the bottom of the list of qualifying outfielders from last season. Judge, on the other hand, posted a UZR/150 of 14.1, which would place him near the very top of the list of qualifiers. Defensive analytics are no perfect science, as it’s quite difficult to make easily decipherable numbers of defensive value. But in this instance, Judge is off the charts compared to Martinez.

By the numbers- Awards won

In fairness to Judge, who has only played full seasons in 2017-2018, we’ll consider hardware won the last two years. In 2018 alone, Martinez amassed an All-Star selection, 4th place in MVP voting, and a historic benchmark: two Silver Slugger awards, for both outfield and designated hitter, an unprecedented feat. Judge, meanwhile, collected AL Rookie of the Year in 2017, a Silver Slugger, has two All-Star selections, and finished second in MVP voting in 2017. Both have decorated their trophy cases, but there is one achievement that separates the pair, and that is Martinez’ 2018 World Series ring. We’ll give the slight edge to Martinez, but both are in great position to expand their winnings in 2019 as well. Provided both mashers can stay healthy in 2019, they should be the focal points of their offenses.

The Verdict

Judge’s ability on both sides of the ball, plus his pay rate, makes him more valuable going forward. Ultimately, Martinez Versus Judge is going to be a treat for us to watch in the battle for first place.

Miami Marlins sign Michael Morse

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It looks like Allen Craig will not be taking his talents to South Beach anytime soon. The Miami Marlins were thought of as a team that might have been interested in Craig, but they got someone else for the job.
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In need of a versatile power bat, the Miami Marlins turned to free agent Michael Morse and agreed to terms with him on a two-year deal worth $16 million plus incentives.michael morse

Morse, who is set to turn 33 before opening day next season, plays both first base and left field and hit .279 with a .336 OBP in 131 games for the World Series champion San Francisco Giants this past season.
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What was really impressive about Morse last season was his power. Hitting 16 home runs in 131 games might not seem like a lot, but he also smacked 32 doubles and 3 triples, meaning that almost 42% of his hits were for extra bases.

With Christian Yelich projected to start in left field and Garret Jones projected to start at first base, expect Morse to see playing time at both positions (but primarily at first base) according to splits and performance.
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At first base especially, Garrett Jones does not face many left-handed pitchers because he struggles greatly against them.

In the outfield, it will be tougher for Morse to swing playing time, but he definitely will have his work cut out for him. In an outfield with Christian Yelich who posted a .361 OBP and swiped 21 bases this past season, Marcell Ozuna who smashed 23 home runs this past season and Giancarlo Stanton who might just be the best outfielder in all of baseball, Morse might just be the best fourth outfielder in all of baseball due to a lack of spots.
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Certainly Morse provides the Marlins with a great bat off the bench, and his signing shows that the Marlins plan to compete in the near future. He may not be serving a huge role until someone else is injured, but Morse is a big addition to the Marlins organization nonetheless.

Yasmani Tomas Works Out for Boston Red Sox

Yasmani TomasAccording to multiple sources, Cuban defect Yasmani Tomas worked out for the Red Sox Academy in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. This might not have ‘just happened’ because of the recent acquisitions of Rusney Castillo and Yoenis Cespedes; maybe the player and his agent were just in the neighborhood of the Red Sox facility and needed press to look at how he has been training since the World Baseball Classic.

Tomas was pretty solid in the WBC last year. In just six games played, he hit a robust .375 with two homers and five runs driven in. All three ranked in the top-5 for the Cuban national team.

The outfielder has shown some raw power and has been looking to sign a long-term deal this off season with any major league club that is looking for some help. The Philadelphia Phillies are supposedly the front runner for the 23-year-old.

If the Red Sox were to sign Tomas to a contract, it would be the second ever Cuban player the Red Sox have signed and only the second foreign baseball talent since the Daisuke Matsuzaka debacle.

Plus, the Red Sox could use this signing to see if the Miami Marlins would bite on a deal to send Giancarlo Stanton to the American League. The Marlins probably can’t afford the slugger for what the market will pay him, but the Red Sox have a ton of money to spend. If the Red Sox can sign Tomas to an affordable deal and can package him or maybe Castillo in a package deal for Stanton, then wouldn’t that be something?