Hanley Ramirez: Getting To Know You (Again)

November 25, 2014 · Posted in Hot Stove 

Webster’s Dictionary defines mercurial as follows:

mer·cu·ri·al adjective (ˌ)mər-ˈkyr-ē-əl
characterized by rapid and unpredictable changeableness of mood.

Hanley Ramirez, the newly minted Boston Red Sox $88 million 3B/SS/LF, is the personification of mercurial as his career timeline suggests.

AT THE PLATE:

Let’s take a look at his career numbers (minus his 2 AB’s in Boston in 2005).



The first thing that jumps out is a clear line of demarcation between 2010 and 2011. Surely, the shoulder injury and subsequent surgery in 2011 had a negative effect on his offensive production going forward. His OPS+ during 2006-2011 was 142 while it dropped to a still elite 130 during the 4 subsequent seasons. The marginal decline does not seem too alarming if you are willing to ignore the fact that his OPS+ in 2013 was an other-worldly 189. Most disturbing, however, is the fact that he averaged 152 games during the first 5 years of his career and only 116 during the four most recent seasons. When you couple that 116 games/season average with numerous questions about his work ethic and willingness to play with nicks and bruises, one begins to see a disconcerting trend. You need to look no further than the L.A. Times last season to become a little skeptical about how a 5 year contract will turn out.

It remains to be seen if the elite hitter will be on the field in 2015. Adding a likely position change to the outfield into the mix certainly does not increase the likelihood of that happening either.

IN THE FIELD:

Below are Ramirez’s career advanced sabermetric fielding statistics.



The take home message here is that Hanley is a below average SS. The Red Sox did not sign him to play SS, so it is somewhat irrelevant. The transition to LF will greatly depend on how motivated he will be to learn a new position. Hopefully he can find some motivation in his lucrative 5 year deal.

Based on Rtot/year, Hanley Ramirez costs his team about 6 runs per year more than Pablo Sandoval (who is an average defensive third baseman saving you 1 run per year above the norm). Ramirez’s roughly one season at third did not indicate that he would even be an average defender there. However, one has to wonder why the Red Sox saw the need to sign both players instead of a starting pitcher.

The jury is still out on the Ramirez signing. The Red Sox will regret the Pablo Sandoval signing in a few short years (Google Edgar Renteria and Carl Crawford if you don’t understand).

 

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