Is Manny Being Manny Enough?

Manny Ramirez is one of the premier right-handed sluggers of all-time.  No one is going to question that fact.  However, he’ll turn 38-years old in May and is coming off a season where he was suspended for 50-games.  So, how much could we expect him to have left in the tank?

Before we get to that, let’s look at how he performed last season:

352 At Bats
.290 Batting Average (102 Hits)
19 Home Runs
63 RBI
62 Runs
0 Stolen Bases
.418 On Base Percentage
.531 Slugging Percentage
.328 Batting Average on Balls in Play

It was just the third time since 1995 that he has failed to reach 100 RBI, but for obvious reasons.  If he had kept the same RBI pace he had set, he would have had 98 RBI if he had 550 AB.  You would think that would tell you that he still has it, but numbers can often be deceiving.

Just look at his splits for pre and post All-Star Break:

  • First Half: .355, 9 HR, 29 RBI over 121 AB
  • Second Half: .255, 10 HR, 34 RBI over 231 AB

You can draw whatever conclusion you’d like from his suspension, but the numbers clearly speak volumes.  If he were one of the notorious second half sliders, that’s one thing, but that just isn’t the case.

Ramirez has always been a consistent thumper.  It didn’t matter if it was April or September.  It didn’t matter if he were home or away.  It didn’t matter if it were night or day.  The guy could just flat out hit.  That second half just makes you wonder.

The lineup could be a bit of a saving grace for him.  He’s joined in the middle of the lineup by Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, two burgeoning superstars.  While that will help offer him opportunities for success, if he is going to take advantage of it is a completely different story.

Was he pressing in the second half?  Was it a case of “Manny being Manny”?  Well, we know the bloom is certainly off the rose in the LA, with Ramirez’ pronouncement this spring that 2010 will be his final year in the city.  Will he give maximum effort?  You would think he would, trying to maximize his payout in free agency, but with Manny Ramirez you just never know.

Just throw it on top of the other concerns we already have.

How about his strikeout rate in the second half?  His career mark is at 22.0%, but he increased to 26.0% in the second half.  Again, given his long track record, it’s hard to say that he is going to stay at that rate, but given what we know about his 2009 season?

Have we really answered any questions about him?  Of course not, but would you expect anything less when looking at Manny?  We still can look at my 2010 projection, however:

.295 (140-475), 24 HR, 90 RBI, 80 R, 1 SB, .335 BABIP, .404 OBP, .507 SLG

Can I say for sure that he’s going to reach those marks?  Could he potentially substantially exceed these marks?  Either could be yes, which makes him an extremely frustrating player to project.  If you select him or not all comes down to what you can stomach.

While he could perform like a Top 10 outfielder, he is just too big of a risk for me.  It’s highly unlikely I end up with him on any of my teams.

What about you?  What type of production do you see from Manny?  Is he a player you’d be willing to draft?

If you would like to see a free preview of the Rotoprofessor 2010 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide (available for just $5) now including a Top 50 Prospects for 2010 List, click here.

For more 2010 projections, click here.  Among those we’ve already covered include:

NL-Only Primer Part 1 (Position Scarcity/Flexibility)
Spring Storylines: March 11 (Davis, Napoli & More)

2 comments

  1. Dan says:

    Someone always likes Manny more than I do, so I usually don’t have to worry about my valuation on him too much..

    The possibility of a spike due to impending free agency outweighs the second half deterioration in my mind.

    In a shallow league with a decent bench outfielder option, I’m willing to take a flyer on the upside this year as he should come at a discount.

  2. Pat says:

    If you can pair him with Ethier or Kemp in a head to head league I think his value goes up slightly

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