I drafted Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez with the 2nd overall pick in an NL-only redraft league this year, even after all of my support (read: mancrush) for Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp having a bounce back season this year. And I have been kicking myself ever since. I drafted Ramirez thinking he could put up a solid season at the plate and approach 40 stolen bases this season. Here is what I wrote about him in my Shortstop rankings back in March:
1. Hanley Ramirez, FLA-Hanley is one of the top overall picks in fantasy baseball, so he lands at #1 at the SS position for 2011. Hanley went 21/76/92/32/.300-.378-.475 in 2010, but his HR output dropped for the second consecutive year. He went 33-35 in 2008 and I am wondering if he can reach that again in the next few years. Fantasy owners can expect him to go 20-80-25-.300 in 2011, but I think he can increase his HR output to 25+ and maintain a solid SB total as well. Hanley has been quoted this offseason saying he wants to run more this season, so could we see him approach 40 SBs in 2011?
I couldn't have been more wrong about Hanley this season, and his shoulder injury certainly did not help. How he recovers from his in-season shoulder surgery will determine where he falls in my rankings for 2012.
More on Hanley's horrific season after the jump:
Hanley hit just .243-.333-.379 with 10 HRs, 45 RBI, 55 runs and 20 SBs before his season was cut short due to shoulder surgery. But looking at his .275 batting average of balls in play, one could argue that he was unlucky this season. He maintained a solid walk rate of 11.4%, his highest since 2008, and struck out in just 17.1%, his highest since 2008.
His batted ball data fluctuated only slightly from 2010, so you really can't say his swing changed at all. He also put up his lowest outside the zone swing rate-23.9%-since 2008, so he wasn't swinging at pitches outside of his zone. His contact rate did drop a bit from 83.4% to 81.3%, but nothing too alarming here.
What concerns me about Ramirez are these disturbing trends:
2008 - 33/.239/,540
2009 - 24/.201/.543
2010 - 21/.175/.475
2011 - 10/.136/.379
His 2011 numbers were down as he missed alot of game, but even still, he was on pace for his worst power season of his career. Heading into the 2012 season, fantasy owner will be paying close attention to how he recovers from shoulder surgery, but I wonder how he responds to new manager Carlos Guillen who won't pull any punches when discussing player's performances. Guillen has been known to criticize his own players in the media, and Hanley seems to be thin-skinned when it comes to criticism, so it will be interesting how spring training goes for more than one reason.
Then again, Guillen could be just what he needs to play to the best of his potential, and he should be healthy heading into spring training.