2012 Projection: Will Hanley Ramirez Prove Worthy Of A Second Round Selection?

There was a time when Hanley Ramirez was among the elite players in the game and, if he lasted past the third or fourth selection, it was a shocking development.  After a 2011 filled with injuries and controversy, he suddenly looks like a potential second round bargain.  There’s no arguing that he’s a highly risky selection, but the reward is quite hefty as well.

So now the question facing fantasy owners is what can we expect from him in 2012?  Is he going to rebound or should we bypass him in the second round, opting for a safer selection?  Before we answer that question we need to look at the numbers he actually produced last season:

338 At Bats
.243 Batting Average (82 Hits)
10 Home Runs
45 RBI
55 Runs
20 Stolen Bases
.333 On Base Percentage
.379 Slugging Percentage
.275 BABIP

There were countless issues, but it would be a significant mistake to harp on the details.  It was a down season and there isn’t going to be one simple explanation for why he was so poor.  You can point to the injury.  You can point to a lack of effort.  You can point to other issues as well.

Some will want to say that we should simply expect those things to continue.  Others will say that Hanley’s move to third base will cause controversy, something that will lead to a repeat of last season’s effort woes and overall struggles. 

It’s impossible to know how the position switch will influence him for sure, but adding 3B eligibility will obviously add to his fantasy appeal.  We all know that the position is generally the weakest in the game, so adding another potential stud is certainly not going to hurt anything.

You also have to look at the additions of both Ozzie Guillen and Jose Reyes.  I know Reyes spurred the position change, but he also helps to significantly upgrade a lineup that now should look like:

  • Jose Reyes
  • Emilio Bonifacio
  • Hanley Ramirez
  • Mike Stanton
  • Gaby Sanchez
  • Logan Morrison

How can you not like someone hitting in the middle of that lineup?  It should provide both opportunities to drive in and score a ton of runs, assuming his bat comes close to where it used to be.

The one thing we never have to worry about with Ramirez is the ability to steal a base.  There’s always the concern that when someone moves lower in the order that they aren’t going to get as many opportunities to run.  Last season Ramirez stole 20 bases, 16 of which came with him hitting either third or fourth.  He may not be the 50 SB threat he was earlier in his career, but he’s stolen at least 27 bases every year he’s reached the 500 AB plateau (2011 was the first time he didn’t).

Last season there were two 3B to steal at least 15 bases, Eduardo Nunez and Ryan Roberts.  Right away, he gives any owner who gets him an advantage.

The power, however, has become a major concern.  While we don’t know how the new ballpark will play, we have seen a disturbing shift in his groundball rate in recent years.  From 2006-2009 his high was at 45.8%, but also posted years of 40.1% and 38.6%.  That meant more line drives and more fly balls, which obviously helped to lead to more home runs.

Over the past two seasons he’s posted groundball rates of 51.0% and 50.9%.  If it was just in 2011 we could use various excuses to help explain the problem.  However, with it stretching into 2010 there certainly is a problem.  Unless he can reverse that trend the power is going to be a serious issue.  Seeing him exceed 18-22 HR may be a stretch.

Obviously if he adds 25 SB no one is going to care.  Just keep in mind that we are not talking about a 30/30 threat, but more of a 15/25 type player.

You put it all together and you get the following projection:

.292 (146-500), 18 HR, 95 RBI, 85 R, 30 SB, .325 BABIP, .368 OBP, .478 SLG

I don’t think anyone would complain about a player posting that type of line, especially since you could argue that it’s more of a floor than a ceiling and comes from a player who will quickly gain 3B eligibility.  We’ve seen what Ramirez is capable of when he puts it all together and you could definitely think that he is going to be motivated to show everyone that 2011 was an aberration, not the new rule.

You couple that with the new position eligibility and I would say Ramirez is worth the risk in the second round in all drafts.

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Make sure to check out our 2012 projections:

4 comments

  1. Chuck says:

    I feel like Kinsler is a safer bet than HanRam, if the draft is today. I’d rather take a sure-fire second basemen like Pedroia or Kinsler and deal with 3rd base further down the draft. Personally if I’m picking a risky 3B with a high ceiling it’s Youkilis in the 7th-8th…

  2. bA says:

    no brainer
    healthy shoulder
    dual 3B/SS eligibility.
    Career .306 average.

    likely a floor of 20/20 in a healthy 500+ AB season. I will primarily use him at short but i would take that production from 3b as well.

  3. big o says:

    i’m still thinking that SS is the weakest position .

    this guy takes too many “mental” days off to be on any of my teams , but the up-side is there , i suppose .

    if he loses SS eligibility for 2013 , i think his value will go down .
    surely , i can’t be the only one who feels this to be true .

  4. TY says:

    in a 14 team league I ALMOST took hanley at 10th…. Votto fell to me and i went votto, but hanley went with the next pick justifying my thought process. Hanley to me is last year’s KEMP. Everyone was down because of what the guy did for ONE year… and forgot about all the good years. He’s still young, its a new scene down there, ozzie will straighten him up, he’s got Giancarlo, reyes, etc… Im telling you if he’s healthy Hanley is going to be a top 5 pick again next year. I would not hesitate taking him in the end of the first round/early second round.

    How many players can you look at where he’s going and say “this guy can be the #1 overall player at years end”.

    Not alot. Hanleys one…

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