BOSTON (CBS) — Before taking the field for Game 3 of the World Series, Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez received a very prestigious honor.
Martinez, along with Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich, were named the 2018 Hank Aaron Award winners. The award is given to the top hitter in each league as voted by fans and the media.
“Obviously it’s a huge award and I feel very honored to receive it from where I was five years ago to today,” Martinez said of the award. “It’s really a blessing. A lot of people helped me along the way. Just to get here today and sit in front of Hank, who growing up Paul Casanova was my mentor, and he was a guy who really took me under his wing and made me fall in love with baseball. A lot of those stories that he told me were about Hank. So it’s pretty cool to be on stage with him today.”
“J.D. Martinez and Christian Yelich are very deserving of this award for their offensive achievements, which also attribute to their clubs’ success this season,” Hank Aaron said in a statement. “J.D. and Christian are exciting to watch and are truly deserving of this award. I congratulate them both on their great efforts and results this season.”
In his first season in Boston, Martinez had the best statistical year of his career. He led all of baseball with 130 RBIs and finished second with 43 homers, and set a new career-high with his .330 batting average. He’s followed that up with a monster postseason, hitting .333 with a pair of homers, two doubles and 13 RBIs heading into Game 3 against the Dodgers.