Hanley Ramirez, lucky 13 (USAT)
Just 12 months ago, Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes were the toast of South Beach, ready to run and rock Miami's new baseball stadium. Okay, that plan didn't exactly come together. Ramirez received his Miami reprieve in the second half of the year, while Reyes was part of the post-season garage sale the Marlins shamelessly held.
Let's look forward with optimism, not back in anger. Which big-name infielder makes the most sense for your fake team in 2013? Dalton Del Don and Scott Pianowski have a difference of opinion. Time to play the feud.
D3, reporting from Hanleywood: After ranking 32nd, 3rd, 8th, 5th and 23rd among all fantasy players over his first five years in the league, Hanley Ramirez has come in at No. 300 and No. 67 over the past two seasons, respectively. The low ranking in 2011 can be blamed on him playing in just 92 games, but he didn't exactly return to star status last season, as his K rate (19.8) was the highest of his career, while his walk rate (8.1) was his lowest since 2007.
[Baseball 2013 from Yahoo! Fantasy Sports: Join a league today!]
The most curious aspect of Ramirez is him transforming into such an extreme groundball hitter. In fact, over the past three seasons, his 1.48 GB/FB rate is the 25th highest in all of baseball. While that's obviously not what you want to see from a young and previously powerful shortstop, what's even weirder is that his BABIP over that span is .301. That seems normal enough on the surface, until you realize it was .351 from 2006-2009 – tied for the fifth highest in MLB. Put differently, Ramirez has suffered a drop in homers thanks to hitting more groundballs, yet his hit rate has also declined precipitously at the same time, as we'd normally expect the opposite to occur (groundballs typically go for hits far more than fly balls). So based on this batted ball data, it's safe to expect either his batting average or his home runs to rise moving forward.
Read More »from Spin Doctors: Hanley Ramirez vs. Jose Reyes