Pittsburgh Pirates catcher and Montreal-raised Russell Martin made it to a significant career milestone tonight against the Detroit Tigers.
Martin, who has played in the Major Leagues since 2006, was sitting on 999 hits before tonight when he lined a double over the head of Torii Hunter to right field. His 1,000th hit came in the third inning off of pitcher Buck Foster.
Martin was drafted in the 17th round of the 2002 draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers and has since played for the New York Yankees before signing with the Pirates last season. Martin ranks fourth among active catchers in hits behind A.J. Pierzynski, Yadier Molina and Brian McCann.
Martin is on pace for his first 100 hit season since 2009 although he was stuck twice at 99. He currently is on pace for his best season of OPS+ (comparing a player’s hitting statistics to league average. League average is 100). He is at 132 currently. His career best was 116 in his second Major League season in 2007.
Known for his great defence, Martin’s offensive statistics have had a resurgence this year. Last year, he hit .226 with a .327 on base percentage and .377 slugging percentage. This year, he is at .289 average, .411 on base percentage and .402 slugging percentage.
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