Red Sox

In his own words, Martinez comes off as a star uniquely prepared for Boston – even the hecklers

(Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

The landscape is littered with new Red Sox players who couldn't make the successful transition to Boston.

Carl Crawford buckled under the weight of expectations. Adrian Gonzalez chafed at the scrutiny. David Price has found it to be negative and, at times, overwhelming.

But J.D. Martinez has made the switch seamlessly. His performance has helped lead the Red Sox to the second-best record in baseball and helped earn him American League Player of the Week honors Monday. He's among the league leaders in virtually every significant offensive category. His presence has helped lengthen a Red Sox lineup that is second in runs scored and home runs hit.

Off the field, the transition has been effortless. Martinez regularly discusses hitting with Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and others, sharing his theories and scouting reports. On Sunday, after he walloped two more homers, he spoke with of how frequently he and his teammates "talk smack'' to one another in the dugout, joking and prodding.

Problems? What problems?

"To me, I think sometimes people get caught up in the whole 'big market,' Red Sox-type of deal,'' said Martinez recently. "You know, you're center stage, all that crap. You see a lot of guys crash when they start believing that they're more than just a baseball player. They start feeling like they're celebrities, or something. You know what I mean?

"To me, I'm a baseball player. I'll never try to think I'm anything else. I worry about what I can worry about. Whether the fans boo me or don't, I don't care. All I know is that I do my best every day. I work my butt off. I study, I prepare myself. I'll hold (my preparation) against anybody in the league. I think I do that as well as anyone. And that's all I can control. I really don't get caught up in all of that ... noise."

Manager Alex Cora, who has witnessed others struggle in trying to adapt to Boston, never had a worry about Martinez, thanks to a meeting the Sox had with the then-free agent at the winter meetings last December.

"I go back to that meeting in Orlando and the way he talked about baseball,'' said Cora, "and how much he cares. I came out of that meeting and I was like,  'If this happens, he'll be fine,' because it's baseball all the time, every day for him. Between working on his swing, watching video and taking notes, it's his passion. And as we know, it's a passionate sports town. They're passionate about our team and he fits right in.''

Martinez isn't one to concern himself with how many Sunday night games the team plays (as Gonzalez did), or where hits in the lineup (like Crawford), or even the sometimes suffocating media coverage.

He's had experiences in other cities, having played in Houston, Detroit, and for a half-season last year, Phoenix. But while Boston may be bigger and more baseball-crazed than those markets, in some ways, it doesn't offer any new challenges.

Then again, he's had some past experience to draw upon to provide him with perspective.

"I remember seeing and hearing on TV that Boston is a big market,''