Boston Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez was among the home run leaders last season and, though he showed his ability to mash all season long, he doesn’t think participating in the home run derby would be fun.
Martinez told WEEI on Thursday he would decline an invitation to the home run derby, which will take place at Progressive Field in Cleveland on July 8, citing the stress that comes with competing in it.
“I just don’t want to do it. It’s a lot of stress, man. You’re hitting for two minutes straight, easy. Trying to hit the ball as far as you can. I remember seeing it the first time they did it when I wanted to do it and I said, ‘Thank God I didn’t do it.’ It was just exhausting. Those guys were out there drenched,” Martinez said.
Martinez said even the All-Star Game was stressful.
“The All-Star Game in itself is stressful. There’s so much going on. It’s not even a break. You don’t have time to relax,” he said. “You have to be on. It’s one of those things, along with that…I’m sure if I was making a lot less I would think about it. To me, it’s about the team and giving my body the rest that it needs.”
Martinez hit 43 home runs last season and finished fourth in American League MVP voting while helping the Red Sox win a World Series. However, he’s only hit 11 homers this season while maintaining a .298 batting average and a .908 OPS.