12 Days of Mariners-Mas: #2 is the Greatest to Ever DH, Edgar Martinez
On the 2nd day of Mariners-mas, the baseball gods gave to me, the greatest DH anyone would ever see. Coming in at #2 on our list of all-time Mariners is Edgar Martinez.
Look, for the top few guys in Mariners history, it’s pretty obvious who it’s going to be. It just depended on where they were going to fall. Felix beat out the Big Unit, Ichiro sits along at number three, and then it’s Edgar and The Kid.
Do you go with Edgar? The guy who was the greatest to ever play DH? The one who played 18 years in the majors, all of which were with the Mariners?
Or, do you go with Griffey?
You go with Griffey… duh.
It’s not just all about what a guy did for the team on the field. We also look at what they meant to the game and to fans. Griffey was a whole different type of animal. Still, Edgar was pretty darn good himself, and it’s why he comes in at #2.
Edgar Martinez is #2 on our days of Mariners-mas.
We all think of Griffey sliding in to score the winning run in game five of the ALDS, but if it weren’t for Edgar Martinez, Griffey wouldn’t have been able to etch into everyone’s memory. Edgar was the one who drove him in with a double. One of many, many doubles he would hit in his career.
He would finish with 514 doubles in his career. Here’s something fun to think about though. If he would’ve gotten a real chance earlier on, how many would he have had? He had 196 PA in his age 26 season, and his age 27 season was his first full one. There were likely 3-4 seasons that Edgar could’ve strongly contributed, and he would’ve been up to over 600 doubles, in the top 15 all-time.
Edgar was such a good hitter, it’s hard to comprehend when you think about today’s game. Let’s take a look at two different stretches from his career. The first, from 1990-2001, a period of 12 seasons. The second is his peak stretch, from 1995-2000 (yeah, it was that long of a peak). I’ll throw his best season on there as well.
- .321/.429/.537, 1580 games, 429 2B, 256 HR
- .332/.449/.579, 148 game average, 29 HR, 42 2B, 110 RBI, 103 R, 164 OPS+
- 1995 –.356/.479/.628, 1.107 OPS, 185 OPS+, 145 G, 121 R, 52 2B, 29 HR, 113 RBI
Including the first stretches averages per season get a bit funky. With the strike and an injury, it drops down his average games played, so that part doesn’t look as good. But as you can see from that shorter peak (that was still six years) Edgar was not someone to be trifled with. Especially that season in 1995. Those bold stats mean he led the league. Oh, my word. It’s insane. Can you imagine seeing that now, with how easily good players are noticed through the media? It would be amazing.
Edgar was not just one of the greatest hitters of his generation, but one of the greatest to ever step into the batter’s box. When he was up, it had to put such an odd fear into pitchers. 1202 strikeouts in 8674 PAs, for just a 13.9% K rate. His walk rate was even higher at 14.8%. You pair that with the career batting average of .312 (remember that 12 year prime stretch from earlier that shows what he could really do), and you have an all-time incredible hitter.
Edgar was an amazing guy to watch. Quiet, and let his bat do the talking. In a way, that’s more disheartening for an opponent than the brash and outspoken guy. Edgar didn’t need to tell you he was going to beat you. You already knew he was going to beat you. That’s why he comes in at #2 on our 12 days of Mariners-mas.