I’ve said it a dozen times before, but Victor Martinez is easily the most underrated slow trotter in baseball. We all know David Ortiz and Billy Butler and Hanley Ramirez, and we think we know Miguel Cabrera and Edwin Encarnacion, but Victor Martinez is rarely mentioned in discussions for the slow trot Hall of Fame. Even when Martinez joined the 30-second club last summer, he didn’t seem to move the needle like so many of his peers.
When news came out this winter that Martinez would be undergoing knee surgery, it did not bode well for his tater trot times (well, unless you enjoy the slow trots like me). On Wednesday, Martinez finally hit his first home run of 2015. A no-doubter off of Chicago’s Chris Sale, Martinez made his way slowly around the bases [video]. The official trot time comes in at 33.08 seconds. (Coincidentally, Martinez’s first 30-second trot last year was also against the White Sox.)
As the season progresses, Martinez will undoubtedly get healthier and start cranking out the home runs like he’s always done. It’s a good bet that he’ll speed up those trots as well, even if it is only to the 27 or 28-second range. In the meanwhile, I’m excited to see just how a hobbled Victor Martinez reshapes the Tater Trot Tracker Leaderboard. It should be fun.