Major League Baseball potentially banning in-game video usage following the Houston Astros cheating scandal has sparked a heated conversation.
Boston Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez turned his career around by using in-game video, consistently reviewing his at-bats between innings in order to improve his swing.
With a potential ban on the table, Martinez isn't too happy.
“To take our game back 30 years, I think you’re not doing it justice,” Martinez said, according to Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci. “I think you’re just trying to do yourself a PR stunt … It’s a joke. It’s gotten so ridiculous.”
The MLB would not be doing its batters a favor by banning video, especially considering many, like Martinez, rely on it to make adjustments throughout games.
“I think what people don’t get is there is a new generation that revolves around technology and analytics and seeing their swing,” Martinez said. “To me, studying my swing and making changes, that’s what makes me who I am. I got released doing it the other way.”
Martinez was released by the Astros in 2014 after slugging just .387 from 2011 to 2013 with the organization. That was when he began to study his swing in-depth, learning a majority of what he knows today.
Obviously, Martinez is an unconventional batter, and we've seen that throughout the duration of his time with the Red Sox.
“I’m sure there are some people are anti- [in-game video]," Martinez said. "Those are natural hitters. I’m not a natural hitter. I had to teach myself how to hit. That makes me rely on it and there are similar players out there who feel the same way. Guys that rely on breaking their swing down and seeing what they’re doing wrong. Because it’s hard enough already.”
In 2019, Martinez hit .304 at the plate, smashed 36 home runs, and had 105 RBIs with a .939 OPS. This isn't something the Red Sox will want to see decline after trading star right fielder Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
If the MLB does, in fact, ban in-game video usage, then Martinez could have a tougher time at the plate this season.