Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz has won the eighth Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award of his heralded big league career. Ortiz hung it up following his age 40 season, in which he posted some of his most prolific offensive numbers as the aforementioned praise comes as absolutely no surprise.
Ortiz’s .620 slugging percentage and 1.021 OPS lead all of Major League Baseball, which was the first time he had done so in either category. The same was true for his 48 doubles, which were the second-most of his career, but led all of baseball in 2016. He was no stranger to leading the American League in RBI (127) or intentional walks (15), both of which he had done twice prior to last season, but accomplished for a third and final time.
Though he was never awarded a league MVP Award, Ortiz concludes his career as a 10-time All-Star and seven-time Silver Slugger Award winner at the designate hitter position. His gargantuan final season earned him just sixth-place on the ballot for the 2016 American League MVP Award, the first time he had finished as highly since 2007, when he ran off a string of five consecutive seasons inside the top five.
The award is named for Martinez, who many figured would be the first primarily designated hitter to be inducted into Cooperstown, but the call has yet to come for the Seattle Mariners’ hitting coach. Whether or not Martinez gets in, Ortiz will have a legitimate shot at getting into the Hall of Fame himself when he becomes eligible on the ballot in 2021.