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J.D. Martinez surmises why he is dominating All-Star voting

Rob Bradford
July 05, 2018 - 12:41 pm

When the voting began for the American League All-Star team, there was some doubt about where J.D. Martinez would end up.

He would ultimately make the team, but the notion of getting voted in as a starter was, despite his production, still in doubt. Martinez was, after all, in the same designated hitter category as Major League Baseball favorites Giancarlo Stanton and Shohei Ohtani.

Talking to WEEI.com, Martinez questioned the entire process while suggesting the voting perhaps should be taken out of the fans' hands.

"It’s not the frustrating part about not making it, it’s more the frustrating part of not being noticed by certain people," Martinez said.  "Because the players know who I am. People who watch baseball know who I am but people outside baseball don’t. That’s where all of that plays into this. It’s more of a popularity contest than it is about performance."

He added, "The only year I only made it was when I was voted in by the players, which is who I think should vote. One hundred percent. Because that’s how you know who your All-Stars really are. The fans don’t know. The fans like to think they know. But they only know what MLB puts out there and who they post on their Instagram, who they post on their Twitter and who they talk about, stuff like that. They push certain people and it sucks for other guys who have great years and get overlooked. That’s why I always say the players should (pick). I understand the MLB’s side of it. They want to get fans involved." (To read the entire column, click here.)

Now, more than a month later, and it appears as though some of the people who Martinez didn't believe were taking notice, actually are.

The most recent ballot had Martinez running away with the voting for the starting DH spot, outpacing second-place candidate Stanton, 2,236,945-977,274.

On the surface, it would appear the outcome is a result of the entirety of the baseball world finally realizing what a force Martinez has become. He is first overall in the majors for home runs (26) and RBI (71), third in OPS (1.034), and sixth in batting average (.327).

But the results have allowed for another realization for Martinez: Playing in Boston does make a difference.

"It’s cool. It’s obviously an honor," said Martinez of the voting. "It’s all of where you play, really. It has a lot to do with it."

In reality, it's probably a combination of things, with the landscape of playing for the Red Sox instead of Detroit or Arizona helping Martinez's cause. It does, at least, suggest that the outfielder/designated hitter is no longer living in the shadows of baseball's other superstars.

"It’s a good feeling, for sure," he said.