OKC RedHawks: J.D. Martinez sent to RedHawks to make adjustments with the bat

Martinez was one of the Astros' opening-day outfielders, but he struggled at the plate. Houston sent its talented prospect to OKC in August to work out the kinks.
by Michael Baldwin Published: September 2, 2012
Advertisement
;

photo - Houston Astros' J.D. Martinez (14) reacts after striking out swinging against Washington Nationals relief pitcher Ryan Mattheus during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Washington, Monday, April 16, 2012. The Nationals beat the Astros 6-3. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt) ORG XMIT: NAT108
Houston Astros' J.D. Martinez (14) reacts after striking out swinging against Washington Nationals relief pitcher Ryan Mattheus during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Washington, Monday, April 16, 2012. The Nationals beat the Astros 6-3. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt) ORG XMIT: NAT108

J.D. Martinez might be playing his final game at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark on Monday.

The RedHawks' regular season finale, a Labor Day matinee at 11 a.m. against Round Rock, might be the final tuneup for a talented outfielder. Martinez skipped Triple-A last season but was sent to Oklahoma City by the Houston Astros a month ago after he experienced the first extended slump of his professional career.

Martinez has been tweaking his swing and plans to return to the majors for good next season.

“Obviously, I was disappointed at first,” Martinez said. “Once you go up, you never want to go back (to the minors). I got a little down. It took me a couple of days to put it behind me. And then it was time to go to work, spend a lot of time in the (batting) cage and grind things out.”

RedHawks interim manager Tom Lawless coached Martinez last season in Double-A Corpus Christi before Martinez was promoted to Houston.

“Players understand it's a game of performance at the big league level,” Lawless said. “If you don't perform, they're going to find someone who can perform. In J.D.'s case, he always hit at every level. He never failed. Now he's failed.

“It's all mental. A lot of guys hit the wall in A-ball, or they fail in Double-A before they rebound and figure it out. He never had that. He failed at the Major League level. That's a tough thing to do to come back down and jump start. It may take a little time.”

Martinez compiled dazzling stats last year in Double-A. He also had some success with the Astros, batting .274 with six home runs and 35 RBIs.

This season, he hit .235 with 11 home runs and 54 RBIs in 102 games for Houston before being assigned to Oklahoma City in early August.

Martinez's stats haven't improved with the RedHawks, but he feels he's made progress.

“It's going well,” Martinez said. “I'm just trying to iron some things out, work on things you can't do up there. At that level it's all about winning. In the minor leagues you can work on things. We've been trying to shorten my swing, spread out (my stance) a little.”

Martinez said he might have tried to do too much during the offseason.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Identifying Skin Cancer: 33 Photos That Could Save Your Life - weather.com
  2. 2
    WATCH: Kids send powerful message in antigun video
  3. 3
    Fans claim ambush by Native Americans, 'Daily Show'
  4. 4
    Reporter Quits On Live TV, Admits To Owning Cannabis Club
  5. 5
    Sarah Palin Defends Family, Daughter Bristol After Alleged Brawl in Alaska: I'm a 'Proud Mama'
+ show more