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A Closer Look: Will Hanley Ramirez Disappoint in 2010??

After posting this article on Saturday, I took a closer look at Hanley Ramirez, as I am one who thinks he could disappoint fantasy owners in 2010. I say that for several reasons:

1. Per SB Nation's player page for Ramirez, he missed a total of 8 games due to a variety of injuries. To my knowledge, he hasn't spent time on the DL over the last few years, and shortstop is a demanding position, so there may be more injuries down the road.

2. His HR output dropped in 2009 from 33 to 24, but he had a huge jump in RBIs from 67 to 106. The jump in RBIs were mainly due to him hitting in the 3rd spot in the lineup vs. leadoff in prior years. Hitting in the 3rd slot resulted in Ramirez hitting with 428 runners on base in 2009 per Baseball-Reference, 110 more than in 2008.

3. Many, including me, thought he would hit more HRs in 2009, but that was not the case. The drop in HRs was the result of a drop in his HR/FB% from 19.2% in 2008 to 12.1% in 2009. In 2007, his HR/FB% was 12.9%, so I am curious if his 2008 season is an outlier, and we won't see him hitting 30 HRs in a season again.

4. His SB totals and SB attempts have dropped in each of the last two seasons. In 2007, Hanley stole 51 bases in 65 attempts, in 2008 he stole 35 bases in 47 attempts, and in 2009 he stole 27 bases in 35 attempts. So his SB attempts have dropped by 30 the last two seasons, while his SB totals have dropped by 24. Will we see another drop in SB/SB attempts in 2010?

5. His 2009 BABIP was .384 vs his career BABIP of .355, so his BA may take a hit in 2010.

Many fantasy owners draft Ramirez within the first 2-3 picks in mixed league drafts, with the thought he will approach 30-30, or even 25-25, while hitting .300+ and scoring 100+ runs. He also plays SS, a scarce position in fantasy leagues.

Bill James projects Hanley to go 27-86-117-31-.315-.391-.535 in 2010. These are certainly solid numbers for any hitter but there are some trends which tell me that he may not meet fantasy owner expectations in 2010.