Boston slugger J.D. Martinez has relied on video to analyze and adjust his swing before and during games. He’d hate to see the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal lead to the complete ban of in-game access.
“That’s who I am,” he said Monday at the team’s spring training complex. “There’s going to be some restrictions. I think to go out there and take all video out and not be allowed to look at at-bats is a little ridiculous in my opinion.”
Since Martinez has been with the Red Sox, a member of the team’s staff would set up with his personal iPad outside the opposite side of batter’s box when Martinez was taking batting practice. Martinez would then take the device and retreat to the clubhouse to look at his swing. The team has been setting up an iPad for all players since Martinez was signed as a free agent during spring training in 2018.
He explained Monday that he often looks at video of his swing in between at-bats during games.
“For me, it’s what makes me, me,” he said. “I’m a very analytical guy. I like to study my swing; what my back foot is doing, my elbow, whatever it may be.
“There’s a lot of guys nowadays that are like that, that’s the trend of the game," he said.
Martinez said he’d like to see those in charge of the game talk to players before they decide what to ban. MLB is discussing proposed changes to video access regulations with the players' association.
“I think you can be a little more informed of what you actually do,” he said. “I think you can talk to some players that have played: ‘Hey, does this help? How we can monitor it and delay it?’”
Martinez was released by Houston during spring training in 2014 and signed with Detroit. He experimented with an iPad that season but was razzed and discouraged about it by Tigers veterans. He didn’t make the iPad a staple of his routine until he stuck with the major league club the next season.
“When I was in the minor leagues — Double-A, Triple=A — we had video systems. It’s something you grew up with,” he said. “It’s something you go back and can check something in your swing. It helps you throughout the game. To-all-of-sudden take that away, it’s a little extreme, I think.”
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