Russell Martin’s ready for late peak?

The futility of Martin’s batting season is simply amazing. Before August, his best month was May. His triple slash line by month:

  • April: .167/.338/.296
  • May: .202/.329/.362
  • June: .194/.270/.433
  • July: .183/.290/.400

Though the power numbers with four homers in both June and July were better, that was a whole lot of lousy hitting. And you want to talk about amazing? Check out his progression of BABIP numbers: .189, .222, 196 and .156!  You can’t say that such low BABIP numbers are a product of bad luck. There is a lot of weak contact in there.

The Yankees did not expect Russell Martin to hit like he did in his early Dodgers days. But they would have taken .240 to .250 with occasional home run pop. The home run pop has been the only part of that equation this season with twelve after hitting eighteen last season. On top of his struggles with the batted ball, his current strikeout rate of 19.2 percent is the highest of his career and five points higher than his career average.

That has been the season for Russell Martin so far offensively. The most hits he has gotten in any month is fourteen. He already has eight this month. His BABIP this month is .400 which at least in part seems to indicate that he is making better contact (and been luckier). So perhaps after four months of terrible hitting, Martin is ready to be a regular contributor offensively the rest of the season. Seasons do tend to even out toward a player’s career norms after a while.

And frankly, a strong finish from Martin would be most welcome heading down the home stretch. A team can only cover so long for a black hole down there at the bottom of the lineup. He has a history of being a much better offensive player. And while the expectation is not for him to go crazy down there at the bottom of the lineup, it would be most helpful to the Yankees if he was at least more than an automatic out.

About William Tasker

William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at since 2003.

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