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2013 Fantasy Baseball: Don’t Draft Hanley Ramirez

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers SS Hanley Ramirez has many attractive on-paper attributes that contribute to his high average draft position year after year in fantasy baseball leagues.

His 30/30 potential, the fact that he won the 2009 National League Batting title, his position flexibility (3B/SS), and of course, the fact that he’s a part of the best offensive lineup he’s ever been in, will all cause Ramirez to once again be drafted high in 2013. However, don’t fall for the same old trap.

Hanley is projecting an average draft position of 37th overall heading into the 2013 fantasy baseball season, ahead of the likes of Jered Weaver, Jose Reyes, Jacoby Ellsbury, C.C. Sabathia, Roy Halladay and David Wright. If you’re looking to win your fantasy league this year, and have an early pick in the third, you’ll want to take any of the aforementioned players over Ramirez.

Since Ramirez finished second place in the 2009 NL MVP voting behind Albert Pujols, Ramirez’s numbers across the board, with the exception of stolen bases, have dropped consistently from 2009-2011. In 2012, Ramirez was on pace to have another poor year before being traded from the Miami Marlins to the Dodgers.

However, Ramirez did turn it up slightly upon reaching LA, hitting .271/.324/.450 with 10 home runs, 44 RBI and 30 runs for the Dodgers in 64 games in 2012. While the batting slash represented a nice boost over his 2010-12 years with the Marlins, his numbers still have been nowhere near what fantasy owners have expected since he won the Rookie of the Year award.

Ramirez will be hitting fifth behind Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp and Adrian Gonzalez, who will hit second, third and fourth respectively. Han-Ram will also be in front of Andre Ethier, who will hit sixth. Ramirez will easily have the best supporting cast he’s ever had, but it still won’t be enough. In 228 career at-bats hitting fifth, Hanley has produced a .263/.320/.447 slash with 10 home runs and just eight stolen bases. Statistically, Ramirez has produced his best numbers when hitting leadoff, third or fourth. While the extra protection looks good on paper for Ramirez, the numbers show it’s not the best fit.

The days of Hanley having .300 average potential and going 30/30 are long past. To me, the best asset Hanley will bring to the table is his dual eligibility at positions that will prove to be very thin in 2013. Having Ramirez, and other versatile infielders, will certainly help fantasy owners get over injuries throughout the season.

However, I’m not willing to draft Ramirez at his current average draft position of 37 overall. I’d much rather have any/all of the players I listed prior, all of which I predict will have very strong ’13 campaigns.

2013 Fantasy Prediction:  .255/.335/.405 18 HRs, 80 runs, 85 RBI, 21 SBs

 

Follow me on Twitter: @Jewish_Jeff