Key Stats: Since 2006, Hanley Ramirez’s first year in baseball (minus the 2 PA’s in ’05), he has averaged a .301 AVG, 22 HR, 103 R, 72 RBI and 36 steals. Toss out the 92 game 2011 season caused by injury, and his numbers turn into a .313 AVG, 25 HR, 112 R, 78 RBI and 39 steals. Hanley is an elite talent and depending on your skills preference is arguably the best shortstop in baseball. Of course Hanley isn’t playing SS, this year, he’s playing 3B, but he gets to keep SS eligibility in your league, so now he is that much more valuable.
Skeptics Say: Hanley is a little hot headed, and sometimes he lets his emotions get in the way of his game. He isn’t totally satisfied with being pushed to 3B, so I do have some concern about his stability there. Is he going to let that get in the way of his production? He has two seasons in the last 6 years where he batted less than .300. One was his rookie year, the other was last year. Last year of course he was injured, experiencing leg and back pain. If he was trying to play through that it can easily explain his sub par (understatement) average.
Peer Comparison: We all know Han Ram is playing third base this year. How many third basemen can you name that have stolen 39 bases in one season, let alone averaged that for their career? It’s been done eight times since 2000, by two players. Han Ram did it twice, Chone Figgens did it the other 6. Last I checked Han Ram contributed quite a bit more across the board than Figgens did. It’s obvious that Hanley is better than Chone. The point is that the extent of Hanley’s across the board production is something the position hasn’t seen for a really long time, if ever.
Lineup Outlook: If healthy, Hanley could be prime for a career year. Ozzie likes to run, so we may see an uptick in steals that puts him back over the 30 mark, and from what I have read the Marlins new park favors hitters much more than Sun Life did. Reyes at the top of the order will give him plenty of RBI opportunities and guys like Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison are capable of driving him. He also has some dude named Giancarlo batting behind him, which is pretty good protection.
Projection: Assuming Han Ram doesn’t let any ego driven things get in his way, I see this being one of his best seasons yet. If you have a late 1st/early second round pick. I can’t fault you for taking him there, which is where he has been going in the drafts I’ve been a part of.
.300 AVG, 28 HR, 90 Runs, 100 RBI, 30 steals, .360 OBP, .840 OPS in 570 AB’s